Register: NOV/20/2017, Submit: NOV/20/2017, Eligibility: Architecture and design students, young architects and designers; individually, teams, Fee: Free, Awards: Winner: 10-week internship for one person at Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway (total value 25,000 EUR including salary, taxes, deductions and rent for an apartment); 4 proposals 1,000 EUR each; Honorable Mentions
This year sees the return of The Unbelievable Challenge open architectural ideas competition presented by Ruukki Construction in collaboration with Helsinki Design Week, Snøhetta and Echo Polska Properties. In The Unbelievable Challenge 2017, Mr. Santa Claus seeks new ideas for a mall façade renovation project in Wrocław, Poland from architect and design students. The aim of the competition is to explore ways how reinventing exterior architecture could both vitalise the surrounding cityscape as well as give an alluring hint of what is offered inside. This year’s lucky winner is awarded with an amazing internship at the world-renowned Snøhetta design company in Norway.
The big idea: What is your unique, inspiring and innovative solution for Mr. Santa Claus’ epic Winter Wonderland Outlet? Mr. Santa Claus’ main idea is to create an inspiring and exciting shopping mall front that provides a setting for unique experiences and attracts big customer flows. That is to say, the design should invite people to visit and spend time inside the mall. Ruukki building materials are to be utilised as a part of the overall design.
Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland and the largest city in Western Poland with 663,000 residents. The city is known for its large student population and a thriving cultural atmosphere. Wroclaw attracts over 1 million tourists a year. Wrocław is located a few hundred km from the German and Czech border and about 2,000 km from Korvatunturi, Santa’s place of residence. The city is very well connected and it has one of the best transportation systems in Poland as it offers road, railroad, air, and water connections. Ronald Regan Traffic Circle on the south side of the shopping mall is the main municipal and suburban transport transfer centre. The hub is connected to the shopping mall via an underground passage.
The area of Pasaż Grunwaldzki shopping mall is east from the old city centre and on the northern shore of the city-crossing river Oder. The building is located along a busy tram route and close to the Polytechnic School and the Medical University of Wrocław.
The area is known for its versatile functions and users: it contains residential buildings, schools, universities, student housing and office buildings.
Architecture in the area consists of both 19th century housing blocks as well as post war concrete apartment buildings.
THE SHOPPING MALL
- Site area: 27,932 m2
- Gross usable area – over 116,000 m2
- Gross leasable area in total: 50,959 m2
- Shopping mall (retail): 48,000 m2
- Office: 350 m2
- Storage: 2,000 m2
- 183 Retail units
- 1,270 Parking spaces
The submitted proposal is expected to clearly present the idea (the problem & the solution) for the front of a very large outlet centre that helps the site in Wrocław to be transformed from a post war brutalist area to a setting that provides unforgettable experiences.
The urban character of the new façade should not only express the functionality of the building. The architectural expression has to be instantly recognisable and unique. The striking exterior appearance of the building shall act as a promise of the content of the shopping mall. It attracts visitors to step into the mall from the entrance plaza.
The outlet centre is visible from all directions. In the manner typical for the city centre architecture, all façades are regarded as main façades and must be designed accordingly. The building does not have a “rear façade”. In regard to the architectonic appearance, it must be taken into consideration that the building can be seen and experienced from all directions, both at a distance and close by.
All the façades on the lowest floor of the building opening up towards the street and public plaza must be treated as window façades in the manner typical for city centre architecture. The most natural main entrance for pedestrians would be from the southeast plaza. Secondary entrances and drop-off zones are created on the east and north sides of the block. The main entrance plaza must not be used as car-parking areas.
The competition is seeking ideas-level solutions, and hence the participants are not limited in strictly formal implementations.
- Any structures or elements higher than the existing building are prohibited
- Property boarders cannot be exceeded
The plaza in front of the main entrance as well as the connection from the tram stops to the building are to be integrated into the overall design. The main idea is that the plaza should serve the purpose of attracting large customer flows.
In the choice of materials and structural solutions, the competitors must strive for material efficiency and a small environmental impact. The objective is to find structural solutions that are environmentally sustainable and of high architectural quality.
- Renewal of façades / appearance of the shopping centre building complex
- Main entrance area (Plac Grunwaldzki) land use development
- Creating advertisement areas with new architectural forms
- New design and placement of the text “Pasaz Grunwaldzki” at the main entrance
- Renewal of entrances