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How to use a narrow plot of land in the city? Kraków office building designed by CAVU Architects

04 of January '21
Technical data
Name: Office and service building on Krasickiego Street.
Investor: GS Sp. z o.o. Sp.k
Location: Poland, Kraków
Project: CAVU Architekci, Jarosław Wilk
Author cooperation: Krzysztof Kozielewicz, Joanna Szpinda (design in indigoDesign author team)
Contractor: GS Sp. z o.o. Sp.k
Total area: 3000 m²
Office area: 1830 m²
Cubic capacity: 6735,9 m³


  • design
  • implementation


A distinctive, narrow office and retail building by CAVU Architekci has been constructed in Krakow, adjacent to the Matecznego traffic circle. We talk to architect Jarosław Wilk about how to fit in with the neighboring historic buildings, make full use of the difficult plot of land and meet the requirements of both investors and the Provincial Office for Historic Preservation.

biurowo-usługowy w Krakowie

The facade of the building was covered with brick, which allowed it to fit in with its surroundings

© CAVU Architects

Dobrawa Bies: What is the result of the shape of the building, what were the inspirations and design assumptions?

Jarosław Wilk: The project is located between Krasickiego and Konopnickiej Streets, about 200 meters from the Matecznego Roundabout, on a plot with an irregular trapezoid shape. The building is "squeezed" between the existing industrial-warehouse development on the north side and the impassable building line indicated in the local plan, hence its unusual shape. Its character refers to the neighboring buildings through the use of similar facade materials - brick, while the articulation of the facade is already contemporary with the rhythm of windows repeating every second floor. The area of the entrance has been plotted by pulling back the outline of the first floor beyond the face of the facade.

Biurowiec, rzut

The building was erected on a narrow site included in the register of historical monuments

© CAVU Architects

Dobrawa Bies: The narrow plot was undoubtedly a design challenge, what else did you have to deal with when designing the office building?

Jaroslaw Wilk: Designing on such a small plot is never easy, and in this case it was exceptionally difficult. This is because the plot on Krasickiego Street is located in an area listed in the register of monuments, which required an agreement with the Provincial Office for Historic Preservation, and additionally in the area of the "Mateczny I" mining area, which is why an agreement with the Higher Mining Office and the "Mateczny" Health Resort was required. In addition, the building stands in a sharp border with the plot, which is developed, so it was necessary to ensure that the implementation of the building did not adversely affect the foundation of neighboring buildings, as well as to overbuild chimneys in these buildings.

Budynek biurowy przy
ulicy Krasickiego w Krakowie

The building has five floors above ground for offices and commercial premises

© CAVU Architects

Dobrawa Bies: What is the function of the building and what materials were used?

Jaroslaw Wilk: The function of the building is purely commercial: offices and commercial premises for rent. The building has five floors above ground, with an underground garage under the entire structure. The building is covered with a flat roof planted with extensive greenery. To ensure thermal comfort (heating and cooling), we used modern, energy-efficient and ecological heat pumps. We also decided to use classic building materials: reinforced concrete, post and panel construction, masonry was made of ceramic and concrete materials. Partition walls within the premises were made with plaster technology. The building uses systemic, raised floors on a steel structure, which allows easy rearrangements. No suspended ceilings are provided at all, all installations are visible.

Wąski biurowiec
w Krakowie

The office building is made of classic building materials

© CAVU Architects

Dobrawa Bies: What requirements did the investor set for you? For whom was the building designed?

Jaroslaw Wilk: The investment was designed for a different investor than the one who finally realized the building, which also did not make our work easy. The original investor, a company with foreign capital, bought the plot in 2014 to sell it at a profit after obtaining a building permit. The next investor abandoned the planned development and put the plot up for sale. Only the third and final investor completed the building. It was not without changes in design assumptions, and besides, technical and construction regulations changed during implementation, so there was a need for a replacement construction project. For example, the method of smoke extraction in the stairwell was changed, as well as the provision of thermal comfort inside - there was abandonment of heating from the municipal network, and instead air-to-air heat pumps were used. Despite these turbulences, we managed to complete the construction, and we are satisfied with the result.

Dobrawa Bies: Thank you for the interview!

Dobrawa Bies

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