Historic structures can be refurbished and transformed to create places that are more beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive.
Elektrownia Powile exemplifies this practice. Their project is based on renovating an old power plant from 1904 in Warsaw.
The project is one of many submitted for the 2021 New European Bauhaus award prizes in "Preserved and transformed cultural heritage".
Elektrownia Powile is a historical complex turned into a multipurpose structure in 2020. It is used for cultural, commercial, residential, and hotel purposes.
The 12-year renovation ushered in a new era for Warsaw. With new buildings and urban spaces open to anyone, the former power plant's premises have been refurbished while keeping their original industrial character.
Currently, the building houses both private and semi-private quarters linked by urban squares packed with outdoor cafes, fountains, green spaces, and a city vibe.
Revitalizing such an essential part of Warsaw's urban fabric representing years of industrial architecture growth demanded special awareness of varied contexts—creating a place suitable for social gatherings and numerous cultural and artistic events.
The practical ethos of the structure makes it accessible and inclusive. Elektrownia Powile's spaces range from well-planned squares to arcades and glass passageways that are wheelchair accessible and walkable.
Furthermore, easy parking areas for bicycles, e-bikes, and electric scooters were incorporated too.
Environmental compliance was achieved through proper insulation and energy-efficient HVAC systems.
Most of the original historical materials and the legendary steel framework have been conserved. Many old bricks were reused.
The former boiler house's 30-meter stacks, dormers, and coaling crane were converted into a panoramic lift. Coal chutes were renovated and made visible. The steel support for the tubes was kept up to 12 mts before being rebuilt, reinforced, and painted with fire retardant paint.
Green roofs were installed in office buildings and high-tech solutions, like super-fast charging facilities for electric vehicles, were also implemented.
📸 © European Union
- Prizes 2021, Other Applications
- Project locations
- Warsaw, Poland