BIG Architecture designs first project in Central and Eastern Europe

BIG Architecture designs first project in Central and Eastern Europe

Artist’s impression of Towarowa 22, EPP’s new mixed use project in Warsaw.

JSE-listed EPP, Poland’s leading retail landlord, announced recently that the BIG Bjarke Ingels Group has developed an urban planning concept for the mixed-use development Towarowa 22 in Warsaw.

The Polish capital will join major world cities, including Copenhagen, New York, Paris, Toronto, Abu Dhabi, and Washington, in having the distinction of the world-famous BIG Architects buildings on their landscapes. EPP’s significant South African shareholder base will be exposed to the benefits of this exciting project.

“As a purely Polish firm, we take extraordinary pride in showing the best the country has to offer to the rest of the world, while making Polish cities beautiful and comfortable places to live. For this reason, the BIG Architecture group was selected to participate in the design of Towarowa 22. The practice has designed a remarkable space that will combine residences with office, retail and food and beverage offerings. We believe the development will be a stand-out attraction in Warsaw that showcases the city in the best possible way,” says EPP chief executive, Hadley Dean.

The architecture firm laid out its plans at the MIPIM real estate exhibition in Cannes, France. Towarowa 22 will be the firm’s first project in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Towarowa 22 will be a distinctive mixed use project in the rapidly developing business district in downtown Warsaw. With an important commercial component, consisting among others of retail, food and beverages and entertainment, it will be the biggest shopping and leisure area in the city and the biggest project in our portfolio by far. Additionally, the complex will offer quality residential, office and hotel space. The commercial area will be surrounded by public gardens, creating the most exciting modern space of Warsaw,” says Michawierczyski, EPP’s board member and chief of asset management.

“When designing Towarowa 22 at the heart of Wola district, we drew from the rich cultural history of Warsaw to create a contemporary neighbourhood with lasting value for the future,” says Bjarke Ingels, the founder and creative partner of BIG.

Towarowa 22 is a site of about 6.5 ha in the Wola district in Warsaw. BIG Architects’ design plan calls for a multifunctional complex with a total of about 230 000m2 of usable area. The owners of the Towarowa 22 project are EPP (70% of shares) and Echo Investment (30% of shares). EPP will manage the property and Echo Investment will be the project’s developer.

BIG Architects is an architectural studio founded by Bjarke Ingels, implementing projects all over the world: from North America, through Western Europe, to Asia. The firm’s most well-known projects include Lego House in Billund, Denmark, VIA 57 West in New York, Europa City in Paris, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea, 8 House and the Superkilen park in Copenhagen. Currently, the firm is involved in Two World Trade Center in New York.

EPP is the largest owner of retail property in Poland, and is listed on the stock exchanges in Johannesburg (JSE) and Luxembourg (Euro MTF). It operates like a REIT, with a current portfolio of 19 retail properties, six office buildings and two development sites in Warsaw, with one currently under construction, offering a total of over 835 000 m2 in Poland’s 20 biggest cities.