It is not difficult to notice that for over a year now, apart from my regular work and activities, I have been involved in my latest project called Save the planet – a concept which came to life in Posnania Shopping Centre in Poznań and is still developing. It is a great joy for me and the whole team that the jury of one of the most important competitions in the world, the Rethinking The Future Global Architecture&Design Awards (GADA 2021), has recognised our premises in the commercial space category.
I have already mentioned many times the circumstances of the creation of Save the planet. They were neither easy nor favourable, as the ‘ribbon cutting’ took place in October 2020, right at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. However, I am still learning that life surprises me every day and I am trying to adapt to the conditions that surround me.
However, before the first customer crossed the threshold of the Experience Centre, the idea of a place which would contribute to changing habits into more ecological and conscious ones was born in my head. Those who know me know that I am not radical. So I created a place that points the way, helps, relieves stress and gives ideas so that everyday shopping and life in general in the atmosphere of climate disaster becomes less stressful and our consumer choices have a real impact on the state of the planet. Let’s take care of the planet, but let’s also take care of ourselves in the process. I also wanted to show that a life in harmony with the principles of respect for nature does not have to be full of sacrifices or difficulties. The most important thing is the method of small steps, small changes, which will not lead us to discouragement and rapid burning out of our ambitions of a conscious life.
In the multitude of product offers and, unfortunately, in the midst of global consumption, Save the planet Experience Centre project in Posnania Shopping Centre makes it easier to make an eco choice and gives a guarantee that the choice is really eco-friendly. As we all know, an ‘eco’ label is not always such a guarantee. That is why the products we allow to be sold in Save the planet are verified on many levels and you can be sure that they have been made with respect for nature and natural resources. The shop is located in a shopping centre, a place strongly associated with shopping craze. As it turns out, even here the idea of slow shopping and conscious shopping have their reason for being. Customers are more and more aware and willing to use such places not only in fashionable districts of large cities, but also in shopping centres.
Together with the designers, I made every effort to make the space unique and offer a pleasant green oasis in the shopping centre. Save the planet is a place where you can hide from the multitude of lights, neon lights, sounds and people. We achieved this goal thanks to nature. It’s simple, but not easy. We decided on reindeer moss on the walls, flowers, wood, friendly bamboo floor, comfortable chairs and the sounds of nature in the form of background music.
The entire space has appropriately selected LED lighting with a system of light intensity control, background music throughout the shop and green walls and decorative panels that also have an acoustic function. All of this contributes to the atmosphere of the premises and influences the senses and well-being of the people in it.
The jury of the Rethinking The Future Global Architecture&Design Awards, in awarding third place to Save the planet, appreciated the space and the ideas, but I also appreciate what strongly influences the atmosphere of the place, namely the people. Our eco-advisors and chefs are not random people, they have a mission. You can talk to them in peace, get advice, do shopping supported by their experience and knowledge of products.
Nourishing and authentic food
Quality cuisine is our middle name. It’s what makes you not want to leave the place. You can sit on comfortable, colourful armchairs and enjoy healthy, perfectly prepared food. Our chef Paweł Kuśpit pays a lot of attention to the ingredients of the dishes. It is Paweł who brings us Jurassic Salmon imported from the world’s first fully organic farm. The salmon is grown in highly mineralised geothermal water, which comes from a borehole over a kilometre deep. The meat is free of antibiotics, bacteria and parasites. The animals are fed with gmo-free feed. Its taste is without equal. If you like sushi, it seems to me that there is no other way not to like Japanese bowl.
Someone may ask me, why do we have fish on the menu? This is the small steps method. Our dishes rely heavily on vegetables, but we decided that actually one of them would be complemented by salmon meat. The best we could find. This is our suggestion for those who sometimes want to eat meat.
My personal mania – healthy air
Elixair air purifiers were not to be missed at Save the planet. Certainly the pandemic has helped to draw attention to safety on the premises. But if I’m being completely honest: I’ve known and used Elixair purifiers for a long time in my life and work, so I can’t imagine the Experience Center without them.
Individual ventilation systems, which are not integrated into the gallery installation, provide dust- and microbe-free air. The premises are equipped with a BMS (building management system), which controls the installations to achieve the appropriate parameters in individual zones. A system was used to regulate the CO2 level, i.e. the concentration of CO2 exhaled by staff and guests. In short: the more CO2 (above 650 ppm), which causes drowsiness and fatigue, lack of concentration and reduced efficiency, the more frequent the air exchange. The solution is mechanical ventilation with variable air volume (VAV). An excellent level of purity of the supply air is ensured by the mentioned Elixair nano-purifiers.
Air humidity in the premises is maintained in the range of 40-60% (lower humidity dries out mucous membranes and contributes, e.g. to various infections, and too high humidity causes shortness of breath and development of microorganisms and moulds). A steam-electrode humidifier with steam lances has been installed in the VIP room in the HVAC system and evaporative humidification in the consumption area. Also, the air temperature is systemically maintained at an appropriate level (usually 21ºC in winter and 23ºC in summer).
The air handling unit itself is ecological, with a rotary heat and cold exchanger that recovers heat from the air. Thanks to VAV control, processes take place in the air handling unit that optimise electricity consumption.
Surface hygiene, air purity and special safety features play a major role here.
All this was recognised by the jury of the Rethinking The Future Global Architecture & Design Awards. We would like to thank you for this recognition, and we promise to continue pursuing our idea.
Save the planet is a project of many people
I would like to thank Sarah Szustakiewicz Sarah’s Interior Design and our furniture and decoration designer Cyryl Zakrzewski from Nowy Model, Piotr Kramer, Maciej Zydlewicz, Anna Stasińska, Szymon Gembus, Katarzyna Komorowska, Marek Mielnik and my family company WPIP who were responsible for the detailed design, including complex installations and technologies. To Armax, the general contractor, and Elixair Polska and their air purification technologies, thank you for making every breath at Save the planet nourishing and good for our health.
My sincere and second thanks to the jury of the Rethinking The Future Global Architecture&Design Awards for the award. The first time was two years ago for the HUB kindergarten project.
And to the readers of my blog, I would like to cordially invite you to Save the planet and e-commerce at shop.savetheplanet.pl. Apart from relaxation, shopping in a slow rhythm and delicious food at Save the planet you can also practice yoga, take part in eco-workshops or rent a room for a meeting and order individual catering. You are welcome!
This is not the end: interesting concepts for GADA 2021
As promised, I also present the two awarded competition concepts. The first one comes from Wrocław.
- The Central Park Wrocław complex by AP Szczepaniak, which received third place in the category: Urban Planning.
The creators adapted an idea of a famous urban planner and writer Charles Montgomery – concerning happy cities. According to his premise, a city should give you everything you need to live, within easy reach. A review of his latest book.
Central Park Wrocław will be built on a land with a unique history. This history began long before the World War II, and soon afterwards the post-industrial area around FAT and Hutmen became an icon of this part of the city. The investment will be carried out with the utmost respect for history and at the same time in the spirit of the best modern and urban solutions. So assure the creators.
The planned area is bounded by two main streets and the railway line. The location provides excellent access to the city centre and other parts of Wrocław.
On the area of the investment there are buildings listed in the conservator’s register, which, as well as other historic buildings and urban sculptures, will be exposed. The heart of the estate will be the central park.
In addition to the green areas, public squares and avenues have been designed. Motor traffic will take place on the ring road surrounding the project area, with numerous access roads. Thanks to this solution, the interior of the complex remains accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. Spatial conditions determined the layout of the building complex. On the busy and noisy western side the office and service buildings were designed, which constitute an acoustic barrier for the residential buildings located further in the complex.
The estate will also include a kindergarten and a school. Everything necessary for a comfortable life will be at hand. Within the project area and in the immediate vicinity, two dominant directions of the building line can be distinguished. The buildings are truncated or cascaded towards the park. The different heights mean that all residents and employees will have access to green areas.
- The second project is the winner of the first prize in the commercial space category (which is the category in which Save the planet won third place). This is an interesting concept for Google’s headquarters, the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan.
The space is, in my opinion, warm and calming, quite innovative. It has soft, tactile surfaces and is constructed from materials such as cork and wood. As the designer assures us, Google Store Chelsea has been designed to the highest standards of sustainable and renewable practices and has received LEED Platinum certification. The flooring is made of 100% recyclable material using factory waste in production with no chemical maintenance; wall panels of low-VOC material made of 100% PET plastic with at least 60% recycled content. Carbon neutral floor coverings. As you can see, as in Save the planet, great importance was attached to the choice of materials.
The jury appreciated the designers’ nod to New York’s storefront traditions. A series of illuminated window boxes are installed on 9th Avenue, attracting onlookers by showcasing Google products while allowing interaction with the products inside.
What do you think of both concepts? Or did any other award-winning project catch your eye?