This pristine, glass-clad British Embassy in Poland is located on one of the major streets in downtown Warsaw near many of the other embassies. Facing the Ulica Kawalerii on one side and a park on the other, the long serene building is characterized by its large south-facing glass facade. Designed by Tony Fretton Architects with the help of many other sustainable and engineering consultants, the British Embassy features energy efficient and blast-proof design. The materials and design of the rectilinear building all help quiet the space and promote calm efficiency.
The 4,300 sq meter embassy opened in July of 2009 and contains offices, an exhibition hall, and a café and incorporates a number of environmental measures to reduce energy use. Long in form, the building is linear in quality and exudes a sophisticated and serene sensibility. The exterior is composed of pale bronze aluminum mullions and mirrored glass, which reflect the sky and trees of the surrounding garden. Public spaces are located on the bottom floor, while offices are located on the first and second floor buffered by an acoustically absorbent ceiling and carpet to quiet the space.
This double glazed facade serves as an environmental buffer from the harsh winters and hot summers, with louvers at the top that can be opened to allow hot air to escape. The facade was also engineered with the help of structural engineering company Buro Happold, specialist advisors David Goode Associates and façade specialists Saelzer to be able to withstand the impact of an explosive device, making the building extremely durable as well as energy efficient.
Daylighting floods into the office space, while a monitoring system controls the heating and cooling based on the outside temperatures, while CO2 monitors in the public spaces ensure fresh air. Additionally, heating for the space is provided for by a connection to Warsaw’s district heating system eliminating the need for a private boiler unit.
Images ©Peter Cook & Christian Richters courtesy of Tony Fretton Architects