Below I present some examples of technical designs of facades, which were designed with my co-operation in Poland in 1999 - 2002.

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This introduction describes the tasks of facade engineer.

Administration building - “C.B. Filtrowa - FOCUS” in Warsaw

- Technical facade's design - 1999-2000, winner of two prestigious Polish architectural awards.
 Architectural design by APA Kurylowicz.
Facade design and consultation Technical Bureau Tuscher.
Cost of facade $5.6M, Total cost $86M,
Gross area 61,994 m2(667,293 ft.2), Cubature 243,500 m3.

This is the very first "twin skin" building built in Poland. The south wall consists of two skins - hence the name. The design was developed on basis of extensive studies conducted upon the published data on performance of similar "double skin" buildings erected in Germany. The exterior skin of safety glass is hung on the stainless steel consoles in front of the interior wall, designed for improved passive climate and acoustic control. The curtain walls and windows are made of aluminium profiles with thermal isolator and insulated safety glass. Exterior skin is built as a planar system. The ventilation of the cavity between south facade leaves is alternating because of fire-protection requirements (every wall section has its own ventilation air inlet and outlet, incorporated discreetly into facade, staggered in alternate courses). The performance data, collected upon completion, confirmed satisfactory conditions inside the building. The heat extraction is slightly insufficient at cooling peaks, what is a typical trade-off of double skins. Most important gain is a reduction of noise from the express road in front of the south facade. Materials : granite veneer, aluminium stainless steel wall panels, glazing. The in-house cranes riding on roof perimeter rails provide easy access to facade for routine maintenance and conservation.
A gigantic airfoil wing, veneered with aluminium sheathing and dotted with decorative nuts, dominates over the south facade (visible on the photo below). Like most another high-tech appurtenances of this facade, its  function is purely decorative.

Photo shows the south facade, which is the first “twin face” facade ever build in Poland.

FOCUS building south-west view

Administration building - Agora S.A. in Warsaw

- Technical facade's design - 1999-2001. Architectural design made by JEMS Architects.
Facade design and consultation by Technical Bureau Tuscher.
Cost of facade $4.3M. Total cost $32.5M
Gross area 36,896 m2(397,142 ft.2), Cubature 169,416 m3.

The facade is based  on custom designed, unitized system of wooden curtain wall profiles, made of red Canadian cedar. The system was co-designed by me. The wood is used without treatment. West facade is shielded by a second skin of printed safety glass. The south and west facade are framed along with steel platform stages equipped with numerous types of decorative sun-blinds made of cedar, zinc steel and aluminum. Additionally each opening is provided with interior textile roller shade. Materials : red Canadian cedar, zinc coated steel, and glass. Few solid walls are veneered with wooden and aluminium louvres, giving a light appearance. Window washing and maintenance by two independent ladders riding along rails fitted to facade.

Before the right building was commenced, the large-scale mockup was erected next to the building site to test innovative facade techniques and trade coordination, to help designers and builders in their job. The mockup remains a permanent auxiliary building on site .

This image shows the south facade.

AGORA's south facade

These images show a fragment of the south facade and it's section cross atrium.

fragment of south facade of AGORA           vertical section of Agora's facade fragment

Administration building- “VICTORIA” in Warsaw

- Technical facade's design - 2001-2002.
Architectural design made by JEMS.
Facade design and consultation by Technical Bureau Tuscher.
Estimated cost of facade $4.7M
Gross area 61,000 m2+ 21,000 m2underground.
(Equivalent of 656,600 ft2+ 226,000 ft2underground. Height 197 ft)

This building is the second largest building with "twin face" facade ever built in Poland. The design team profited from experience gained on the first one (see above). The south facade and part of the north facade covered with second skin of glass, slung on the stainless-steel consoles. Windows made of custom designed high-performance thermally improved aluminium profiles and insulated glass. Curtain walls made of aluminium profiles with thermal isolator and the strengthening steel inserts, facilitating extra-long spans. Ventilation of second skin is alternating in staggered courses and featured with mechanical operation for improved heat extraction. Materials : granite veneer, sheet aluminium wall cladding, safety glazing. Large area of solid masonry walls blanked with aluminum louvres to achieve light appearance. Maintenance of facade of the tower is realized by two independent roof carriages (there are two different levels of the roof of higher tower) with one shared swinging stage.

This picture shows the north facade.

VICTORIA's north-east view


Administration building- “TOPAZ” ( also called Globe Trade Center) in Warsaw

- Technical facade's design - 2001. This building was not completed yet at the time the description below was written.
Architectural design made by JEMS.
Facade design and consultation Technical Bureau Tuscher.

This building is cube-shaped with a round courtyard inside. The windows are made of individually designed warm aluminium profiles and warm glass. The curtain walls made of aluminium profiles with thermal isolator and strengthened by steel inserts piled inside to allow extra long spans. Materials : granite dimension cladding, sheet aluminum cladding, safety glass. Large area of solid walls blanked with aluminum louvers. The building is equipped with several types of decorative shaders and louvers, made of aluminum profiles and printed glass blades.


topaz view         

Sporting arena- “ARENA” in Warsaw

- Technical facade's design - 2001. This building is not completed yet.
Architectural design made by JEMS.
Facade design and consultation Technical Bureau Tuscher.

This building is the roof of 58x44m size, supported on lattice towers, spanning above a recreational field. The roof is a lattice spacial structure covered with a skylight of transparent polycarbonate glazing. The service gantry rides underneath the roof. Surprisingly many technical challenges surfaced at this seemingly easy project and we are proud to say that we solved all of them satisfactorily for all parties involved.
An example of our work: At the DD stage it was discovered that the glazing span was too large to carry snow load, We joined the fun when the architectural design of the roof was already fixed and any span module changes were out of question. The given size of glass field was square and unfortunately exceeded worldwide production limits: no plant produces so wide sheets of channel policarbonate sheets, thick enough to cover the span. We could not use thinner sheets of policarbonate (which can be produced wide enough) because the deflection under estimated snow load would be excessive and would not meet code requirements. The project was too small to economically justify individual policarbonate production. We investigated several alternatives, including composite glazing by individually laminating thin sheets.. Eventually, as we presented the available options to the architect, the addition of additional vertical glass fins supporting the skylight polycarbonate panes was found to be acceptable, due to their minimal visual impact.


view with clipped roof                 arena in the night

Administration building- “HESTIA” in Sopot

- Technical facade's design - 2000- 2001.
Architectural design  by MAT Architects.
Facade design and consultation Technical Bureau Tuscher.
Total cost of building $30M.
Gross area 18,770 m2(202,037 ft2), Cubature 88,000 m3.

This building is home of a prominent insurance company headquarters . Its seven stories tall body is located on a beachside in an area populated by summer resorts. Curtain walls and windows are made of typical warm aluminium profiles and warm glass. Materials : yellow sandstone panes, white plaster, blue safety glass. Large area of walls blanked with aluminum louvres. Large expanses of glazing ( curtain walls) are combined with expanses of opaque stone (cladding on the steel frame and concrete ). 

Photos show the south-west facade and main entrance with web-shaped roof

hestia south-west view            hestia- main entrance              hestia east view   

My role in this project was minor. I reviewed facade shop drawings, sporadically monitored the field and designed the web canopy skylight.

Smaller Projects

Small projects are equally difficult and often unproportionally big time effort-consumers in comparison with large ones.

Your comments are welcome - mail to Karol Kazmierczak

Please, place the word "UWAGA" (Polish for "Attention") in the message subject and preferably send your message several times, to avoid filtering out. I receive hundreds of emails daily, mostly spam, because of my public email address exposure.

This web page is exclusively created and administered by Karol Kazmierczak. Last modification 02.27.2005. Reviewed for grammar and updated on 03.19.2010.