The ICE Congress Centre being currently designed will provide a new architectural point of reference for a section of Kraków by the Vistula embankments, yet conforming to the prestigious historical and contemporary context, beginning with Wawel Hill, and including a panorama of the ancient Kraków, Kazimierz and Podgórze.
The form of the building is inscribed into the corner plot by Grunwaldzkie Roundabout. Its contemporary expression is defined by the organically shaped form, including the large glazed foyer and coming down towards the Vistula River in a slight wave, to reduce visually the scale of the building in the panorama of the embankments.
Such a form makes it possible for congress and concerts participants to see the city from the foyer and to be perfectly well seen. It is so, as the foyer will be seen together with the “fifth wall” of the building from the terrace of Wawel Castle.
Glass and titanium–zinc sheets, the primary materials used for the outer shell, will be complemented with individually designed ceramic tiles and stone slabs: granite, limestone, and sandstone, whose selection makes reference to the typical materials that built the history of Wawel Hill architecture.
Composition of these highly varied materials and the glazing builds a mosaic covering the walls of the building, and is decisive for its expression. Covering approximately 37,000 sq.m (400,000 sq.ft), the building will accommodate three halls for 1800, 600, and 300 seats, complemented with a 500 sq.m (5,400 sq.ft) complex of conference halls, back-office, and technical and storage facilities, with an additional underground car park with approximately 300 spaces. Source: Ingarden & Ewý Architekci
A hall of the “vineyard” type with audience seating partially surrounding and partially facing the stage. It is perfectly adapted to the needs of conferences, congresses and concerts. In this way this makes it possible to organise events varied in scale:
• symphonic concerts accommodating an audience of 1800 (a stage for a 100–person orchestra and a 200–person choir)
• concerts accommodating an audience of 1450–1800 (smaller orchestras)
• conferences offering up to 2000 seats.
The hall possesses changeable acoustics with increased parameters and takes into account the most modern developments in stage technology. Suitable for events such as: congresses, symposia, music shows, popular concerts, ballet shows and film screenings.
Multi-functional hall in the shape of a traditional, rectangular “shoe box” equipped with a box-type stage (stage entrance, adjustable proscenium, curtain and backstage area). Adjustable number of auditorium seats reaching up to a maximum of 600. Moveable folding seats allow a flat surface to be obtained, making it possible to organise exhibitions and banquets. Suitable for events such as: theatre and ballet performances, concerts, conferences, meetings and film screenings.
Chamber Hall and Conference Hall Complex
Situated on the third floor of the ICE Kraków, the Chamber Hall is a room with a flat floor and 400 seats, equipped with an acoustic wall allowing it to be divided into two parts. The Conference Hall Complex with natural daylight adjacent to the Chamber Hall encompasses a conference space with an area of approx. 500 m2 which can be flexibly divided using the acoustic wall system.
The Conference Hall Complex is supplemented by rooms for organisers, a press centre, toilets and a hall with a buffet. The complex and conference hall together enable the creation of one large exhibition and banquet space with
an area of approx. 1000 m2. Suitable for events such as: theatre performances, conferences and congress conventions, chamber concerts, meetings, film screenings and fashion shows.
Foyer and exhibition space
The foyer is situated on the eastern side of the building (with a view of the Old City and Kazimierz) on three floors: F0 – 1000 m², F1 – 1000 m² and F2 – 650 m². It can play the function of both an elegant public space for a viewing area
and an exhibition space with the possibility of arranging sponsor and exhibition stands during congresses. This entire space is covered by an extensive grid of media access points (electrical connections, the Internet). Suitable for: trade fairs, banquets, galas, balls and exhibitions.
32 rooms of various sizes situated on two floors – F1 and F2. These enable the organisation of meetings of 6-80 people. They are equipped with sanitary facilities. They may serve as rooms for meetings or as dressing rooms.
Location: Grunwaldzkie Roundabout, Kraków, Poland
Architects: Ingarden & Ewý Architekci
Design: Krzysztof Ingarden, Jacek Ewý
Design Consultant: Arata Isozaki & Associates
Project Manager: Piotr Urbanowicz
Project Team: Sebastian Machaj, Piotr Hojda, Jakub Wagner, Agata Staniucha, Jacek Dubiel, Piotr Kita, Tomasz Koral, Sylwester Staniucha, Dariusz Grobelny, Anna Biskupska-Sperka, Sławomir Janas, Hiroyuki Mae, Maciej Szromik, Jacek Szuba, Maciej Wierzbiński, Maja Wilczkiewicz-Janas, Tomasz Żełudziewicz, Marta Brańska, Krzysztof Stępniak
Co-operation: Arata Isozaki, Hiroshi Aoki, Yoko Sano
KKM Kozień Architekci: Marek Kozień, Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak, Michał Rączka Beata Tokarska, Marcin Gierbienis;
K3 Pracownia Projektowa: Piotr Chuchacz, Benedykt Bury, Rafał Chowaniec
Interior Design: Ingarden & Ewý Architekci
Pracownia S.C.: Agnieszka Cwynar-Łaska, Marta Spodar
Acoustics: ARUP Acoustics – Ove Arup & Partners International Limited, Wielka Brytania (Raf Orlowski, Neil Woodger)
Stage Technology: ARUP Venue Consulting (Sam Wise)
Structure: Project Service s.c.
Hvac, Electrical System: Ove Arup & Partners International Limited sp. z o.o. Branch in Poland
Landscape Design: Land Arch s.c.
Area: 37,000 m2
Open ceremony: 16th October 2014
Client: Kraków Municipal Commune
Article by Marco Rinaldi