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Varso – Warsaw’s most anticipated city center development under way

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Varso - Warsaw city center
Varso - Warsaw city center

Varso is a unique new hotspot for businesses, residents and tourists in the heart of Warsaw city center, close to the Central Railway Station.

The mixed-use scheme comprises three buildings including an office tower designed by the renowned international architectural studio Foster + Partners. Locals and tourists alike will be able to enjoy unique views of the capital’s skyline from the rooftop observation deck 230 metres above ground making it one of the highest ones in Europe.

The vibrant ground floors of the two mid-rise buildings designed by Polish architectural practice Hermanowicz Rewski will provide both office employees and local residents with a wide range of facilities and services including shops, restaurants and cafés. In addition, covered internal streets will be open to all throughout the year.

Varso is developed by international real estate company HB Reavis; construction works have already started with completion scheduled for 2020.

The site is located next to Warsaw’s Central Railway Station, an area currently in need of revitalisation. HB Reavis will bring new life to the locality with its Varso development while at the same time improving the appearance of, and access to, the surrounding public spaces.

- With Varso we are creating an exceptional destination, a new hub for local and international business and leisure in Warsaw. This is possible thanks to the unique grouping of Foster + Partners’ international experience and our Warsaw-based Hermanowicz Rewski Architects’ ‘feel’ for the city. - said Stanislav Frnka, Country CEO for Poland at HB Reavis.

- The scheme’s user-led design will cater for professionals working in the area and offer a place to meet afterhours. The observation deck, which will be open to the public, will allow its visitors to see the beauty, history and the prosperity of our capital. I’m convinced Varso will appeal to both young and old, Warsaw residents and visitors, turning it into the new symbol of Warsaw, worthy of the 21st century. - Stanislav Frnka added.

Varso tower designed by Foster + Partners

Designed by Foster + Partners, Varso will be the tallest building in Poland offering well-designed, flexible modern office spaces. It will also feature an observation deck at 230 metres above ground, which is double the height of the current highest viewing point in the city at the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science. Spectacular views of Warsaw and the metropolitan area are also in store for visitors to the restaurant on the 46 and 47 floor of the building.

Grant Brooker, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, leading the design team in London said: “We believe that Varso will have a unique place on Warsaw’s skyline, but most importantly it will establish a new destination capable of revitalising this urban quarter, right in the heart of the city. The building contains high-quality and flexible office space, but it also makes an important contribution to the city with its glazed public courtyard at ground level and the spectacular viewing platforms with restaurants and bars at the top. These public galleries offer panoramic views of the city to everyone. We are really looking forward to moving the project into the next stage of its development and starting construction."

The project’s design team behind Varso includes Partner Hugh Stewart and Polish architects Jędrzej Kolesiński and Krzysztof Górnicki, both Associate Partners at Foster + Partners.

Hermanowicz Rewski Architects the team behind the two lower Varso buildings

Varso’s lower buildings will form a new, central frontage along one of the main streets next to the central station. The two office buildings will “cascade” from a joint multi-storey podium with a beige elevation made of stone, their rooftops featuring green terraces open daily for Varso office workers to unwind.

- We are proud to contribute to a spectacular project which will revive this part of Warsaw. Our main objective was to create buildings that are open to the public and encouraging passer-bys to go inside. On sunny days, Varso's guests and office workers will benefit from cafe gardens and recreational spaces located on its roofs" said Stanislaw Rewski, Partner and owner at Hermanowicz Rewski Architects.

The general contractor of Varso is HB Reavis Construction, a part of HB Reavis Group. Construction works began in December 2016, with the final handover scheduled for 2020.

What makes Varso unique?

Internal streets on the ground floor open to everyone
All three buildings will be easily accessible from street level or directly from the underground arcades of the Warsaw Central Railway Station. In addition, an escalator and lift operating 24/7 will offer easy access from one of the main streets and nearby tram stops.

Varso’s internal streets will be lined with restaurants, cafés, small grocery stores and other outlets such as a pharmacy, laundry, chemist, florist’s or kiosk. Part of them will also be accessed from the street, while some restaurants will offer outdoor seating areas.

Modern workplace
Varso will accommodate the largest Polish and international companies as well as start-up businesses looking to make use of the prestigious and vibrant location in the heart of the city. It will also be home to one of the largest co-working centers in Warsaw.

The average office floorplate in the Varso tower will be ca.1,500 sq m and up to 4,000 sq m, providing highly adaptable office space for one or more companies on one floor. All buildings will provide a total of approximately 140,000 sq m of perfectly fitted office space.

Easy access by public transport
Varso is situated in a truly unique location offering excellent communication links for visitors and professionals working in the building. The nearest metro and commuter railway stations are within just a few minutes’ walk from the scheme and there are around 30 bus and tram lines available close by. The proximity to Warsaw Central Railway Station also means easy access to other Polish cities. Warsaw Chopin Airport is under 30-minutes away by train.

Varso will also provide around 750 bike racks as well as dedicated changing rooms and showers.
A brand new bike track will run next to the complex.

In addition, there will be spaces for cars and motorcycles in a 3-storey car park stretching under all Varso buildings.

Urban renewal
Overlooked for decades, this part of Warsaw’s city center is now undergoing a complete transformation. Trees and shrubs will be planted around the Varso buildings, accompanied by new lawns, planters and benches. Greenery will also bring a sense of nature to the internal streets and on the rooftops of the lower buildings.

As part of the construction of Varso, the surrounding roads, pavements and parking lay-bys will be resurfaced and redeveloped including the elimination of obstacles such as overly steep kerbs or pavement drop offs.

First-class green solutions
The Varso buildings will be provided with state-of-the-art technologies to reduce electricity and water consumption as well as air pollution. At construction stage, the investor will provide for certified construction materials as well as proper waste sorting, disposal and removal. Varso will be the first project of this scale in Poland to be rated “Outstanding” against the BREEAM certification scheme.

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