Vastint Poland has presented its revitalisation concept for the post industrial areas of the Stara Rzeznia (the Old Slaughterhouse) in Poznań. In keeping with its plans, the historic buildings of the former meat plant will be carefully restored and offer service, retail, and gastronomic premises, as well as cultural and exhibition spaces. The company will construct residential and office buildings around the plazas, squares, and alleyways that replaced the demolished buildings from the time of the Polish People’s Republic. The usable area of ​​the complex will exceed 80,000 m2.

The presented concept is the result of many months of work by teams of architects under the direction of Przemysław Borowicz, and then the JSK studio, in cooperation with city authorities, the City Architect, the Municipal Conservator of Monuments, and the Municipal Urban Studio. The new development program creates a sustainable urban landscape with modern buildings and public spaces, good communication, and enormous cultural opportunities. Even with all its innovation, the development of the area will maintain respect for the identity and history of the place. The revitalisation plan of the Stara Rzeznia is currently the subject of public consultations organised by the city of Poznań as part of the local plan adoption procedure.

Over a hundred years old, this somewhat forgotten part of the city will take on a new character. The carefully restored industrial buildings will contrast with the modern architecture. Employment opportunities, flats, cultural facilities, retail, service, and food outlets will be developed on the site. Thanks to the range of functions and the investment’s scale and location, a vibrant space will be created, very much conducive to social integration, a place you would like to be — from morning coffee to dinner with friends or a theatrical performance in the evening.

“We are aware that this neighbourhood is of great importance for Poznań. We very much wanted to showcase valuable industrial architecture and build a harmonious neighbourhood with its historic surroundings: the Old Town, St. Wojciech’s Hill (Wzgórze Św. Wojciecha) and the Cemetery of Meritorious Inhabitants of Greater Poland (Cmentarz Zasłużonych Wielkopolan), as well as the planned Museum of the Greater Poland Uprising (Muzeum Powstania Wielkopolskiego), and the recreational areas of the Citadel (Cytadela),” said Roger Andersson, Managing Director of Vastint Poland.

A place available to everyone

The heart of the complex will be the central square surrounded by the original historic buildings, designed by Feliks Moritz. Buildings from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries will be fully preserved and their components carefully restored including the main hall, the boiler room, the engine room, and the water tower. Brick facades will regain their former glory and original appearance. The interiors will be appropriately adapted to their new functions, also in terms of design. The square in front of the main entrance on Garbary Street will become a public space.

Despite the new buildings on the fringes of the quarter, the historic buildings will still be visible from the outside. The design also ensures that St. Wojciech’s Hill (Wzgórze Św. Wojciecha) can be seen from the heart of the complex and the Old Town.

“Although fragments of the historic wall will be preserved, we want the Stara Rzeznia to be an open and friendly place for everyone. Meeting points and cultural and artistic events will attract passers-by and regulars, friends and entire families,” said Roger Andersson. “This will be an important novelty, because from 1900 until the end of its industrial activity, this area was inaccessible to the inhabitants of Poznań, and during subsequent decades it was only occasionally made available for cultural and artistic events and an antiques fair. This development is an opportunity to activate the area and elevate its stature.”

Office and residential space

Complementary to the historic buildings, the new structures will house office and residential functions. In the western and southern part of the Stara Rzeznia, a series of residential buildings will be built, forming the frontage along Grochowe Łąki and new Bóżnicza Streets. In terms of both architectural solutions and materials used, the new development will relate well to not only the historic industrial architecture but also the existing neighbourhood.

All residential buildings will have an underground level intended mainly as garage, thanks to which the Stara Rzeznia area will be intended for pedestrians and cyclists. Commercial premises will be situated on the ground floors. Above them, 550 functional apartments of various sizes are intended for sale to individual clients, ranging from small efficient studios, through traditional flats, to eye-catching apartments on the top floors. Most units will have balconies or terraces. The apartments will be finished with high-quality decorative materials in a variety of styles. Sale of the units will commence upon completion of construction. The apartments will be ready for occupancy the day after purchase.

Two modern office buildings will be erected in the northern and north-eastern parts of the complex along Grochowe Łąki and Garbary Streets. Both six-story buildings will have an underground garage level for tenants. Cafés and service establishments will be arranged on the buildings’ ground floors, so that office employees will be able to easily deal with important everyday matters when arriving for work or during a lunch break.

Green solutions

The entire project will be implemented in the spirit of sustainable construction and will be verified in the LEED Neighborhood (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighborhood Development) and WELL Community systems. LEED is an international building certification system relating to smart growth, the harmony of urban development with the needs of residents, and green construction. LEED certification will confirm that the investment has been designed and built using technologies that optimize, energy and water consumption, among other characteristics, and reduce CO2 emissions. The WELL Community Standard aims to determine the impact on residents of not only buildings but also public spaces. Certification supports a pro-health approach and the well-being of people in all aspects and areas of community life.

“Owing to the ecological nature of the complex and the expectations of the residents of Poznań, as much as 20 percent of the total area of ​​the complex has been allocated to greenery. We will achieve this by introducing urban greenery, a composition of flower beds, lawns, shrubs, and trees, and the greening of roofs. In addition, we prioritised parking spaces for bicycles, both in the form of bicycle rooms next to the residential buildings and public parking for cyclists at each of the buildings,” said Roger Andersson.