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CITY kaleidoscope 


A cylinder mirrors the city, capturing its ever changing scenery. As the wandering citizen looks in at one end, they see light creating colourful patterns which capture the exciting, dynamic quality of the capital. Beauty is held here, visible from all standpoints. This is a space of abstracted information made an experiential reality. The City's Kaleidoscope is an opportunity to interconnect all the life of Warsaw, and it opens up the possibility of a radical and contemporary understanding of the energy of this cultural centre.

Ceiling video projections : On the semi-spherical roof information about current events in Warsaw will be displayed. The multiplied projections will create patterns and compositions like a kaleidoscope, and ensure visibility from every angle facing onto the roof. The building will keep its original architecture, but at the same time the new treatment of the roof will allow for an unexpected augmentation of the building, with a new face.

Cultural Bank : The mezzanine level will contain a multifunctional public space dedicated to giving visibility to cultural events, debates and exhibitions in the city of Warsaw. Information, sounds and images of city events will be experienced inside the rotunda, and serve as a new urban interface. The mezzanine will be directly accessible from new public connections to the level of the Metro passages. The space is flexible in its use, with an open bar, and spaces for debates and exhibitions or events.

Polski Bank : Banking and public space are two programmes with different requirements for security and control. Accordingly, we propose to separate them and create independent entrances, with the bank accessible from the three existing street level openings. The technical components and back office areas will remain on the refurbished underground level.

Underground / Overground connection : The topography designed to surround the intervention will play a role in redefining the area. Firstly, it allows for the different functions, despite their disparity, to coexist, and to have separate access points. Secondly, the sloping public space on which the rotunda sits allows it to connect fluidly to the public space beneath. Here, the notion of the underground is lost as the ground is multiplied through the interconnecting slopes which give back to the city. The accessibility of the ‘City Kaleidoscope’ is comprehensive, and the people of Warsaw coming from public transport connections, shoppers, as well as wondering dreamers are all invited to interconnect and meet in its spaces.

Leed certification : The building’s energy efficiency and overall performance will be significantly improved by sealing the building envelope and making the inside airtight and vapour resistant in order to reduce the energy needed to heat and cool the building. A double glazed façade will enable a high thermal and acoustical insulation level. An automated blind system will prevent excessive solar irradiation in the summer period. LED lighting will be used to reduce energy consumption. Photovoltaic panels could be installed on the roof of the rotunda without being visible from the street level. Using the LEED principals will help maximize the efficiency of the operations while minimizing the impact on the environment.




Status: Concours

Site: Varsovie, PL

Date: 2013

Area: 2600 m²

Commission: Public

Client: National bank of Poland / City of Warsaw

Program: Urban center, bank

Project team



Architect: Dorell Ghotmeh Tane / Architects, Paris

Local Architecte: Projekt PBPA Sp. z o. o.

Quantity Surveyor: Balbina Kacprzyk

Environment: Piotr Drabecki







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