Stunning ‘benchmark’ apartment block in finals of prestigious 2022 Plan Awards
Poised to set a new benchmark in residential architecture, a project by the Chorzów-based Frantagroup has been shortlisted for the finals of the prestigious 2022 Plan Awards.
Currently under construction in Żory, the Żorro complex is due for completion in Q4 of 2023 and is the only Polish investment that will be considered in the Future / Housing category of the awards.
Inspired by the town’s faceless apartment blocks, Frantagroup have sought to ‘re-compose’ the aesthetics of these by slashing the cuboidal form to create a structure with stepped-like terraces filled with tumbling greenery to give the building “expression”.
By cutting a standard slab-like shape in such an unorthodox manner, the studio hopes to reveal “the true hearth within”.
As simple as this concept sounds, the result promises to be dynamic and bold in its ultimate look.
Moreover, given its location on the fringes of Żory, lead architect, Maciej Franta, hopes that the building will act as a showcase for the city and attract further investments to the immediate area.
Likening the project to a “super hero”, the captivating design has already swept the internet on account of its stunning visual impact.
“Caped” with prefabricated reinforced concrete terraces, these will be masked in greenery to increase comfort while simultaneously shielding life within.
According to the investor, Blockhaus, the project will transform Żory: “The facade of the apartment building was designed to stand out against the background of existing urban development,” they say.
“The ascetic form of the building covered by impressive balconies, as well as the emerging terraces of the apartments on the upper floors, create an architectural icon of the city – and thanks to the cascading arrangement of the terraces, each of their owners will get a perfect view of the panorama of the developing city.”
Containing properties ranging from 29 sq/m bedsits to a top floor penthouse complete with a roof garden, the nine-storey development has also attracted plenty of buyer interest with only fourteen of the fifty-one apartments still available for purchase.
Offering views of the Beskidy Mountains in the distance, neither does Żorro just look environmentally friendly. Making use of the latest innovations, energy-saving materials have been used throughout.
Critically, Żorro has not just harnessed technology, but logic as well. Although the generous balconies may seem little more than an additional frill, the thinking behind them has been rooted in ecological awareness.
Such is their depth, that the goal has been to negate the need for air-conditioning by providing ample shade and protection against strong sunlight.
“We’ve viewed environmental protection through a different prism other than just the use of technology,” say Frantagroup with the balcony gardens also promising to create something of a micro-climate.
This, though, is not the first time that Frantagroup have courted international attention. Among other accolades, their Villa Reden project in Chorzów was named the best residential project in Europe and Asia as part of the annual Eurasian awards in 2021.
Just a few months ago, meanwhile, Maciej Franta found himself widely hailed in Poland’s design press for his stunning plans to revive and expand a set of iconic ‘pyramids’ built in Ustroń Zawodzie six decades ago.