Height to the roof: 154 m
Total height: 164 m
Number of floors: 45
Year of construction: 2003
Designer: Tadeusz Spychala
Location: ul. Emilii Plater 49
Intercontinental, opened in November 2003, is the highest hotel in Poland and third highest in Europe. It also beats some other records: it has the biggest number of floors among Warsaw skyscrapers, it has underground floors located on lowest level (20.7 m). But what draws attention the most in the building is an unique empty space in the structure. Also a swimming pool, which is located on 44th floor, on the highest level in the city (150 m), is a special attraction of the hotel.
Not only the hotel itself is the highest one, but also its standard (and prices). It is the five-star hotel, it has 304 rooms, 97 apartments and 8 conference rooms. Also 2 restaurants, 2 bars, sauna, fitness club and solarium are located here, so the Intercontinental has all facilities that are typical for modern, luxurious hotel. On underground floors, those deepest in Warsaw, parking places for 175 cars (on 5 levels) are located. The usable floor space of the building is 45.5 thousand square metres and total floor space 57.5 square metres. The total cost of the investment was over 100 million euros.
Already before the building's construction was started, people from surrounding blocks of flats protested against it. They stated that their blocks would be hidden from the sunlight by the new skyscraper. Even the promises of renovating their blocks that the investor had made did not convince them. But the construction was started nevertheless. And that is right, because changes in this part of the centre are unavoidable and people who live in the centre cannot demand to have a nice view behind the window.
The building was designed by the team of architects led by Tadeusz Spychala. Intercontinental is a uniform, slender solid, its elevation has a gentle, light blue colour, which is similar to neighbouring Warsaw Financial Centre. But the characteristic empty space in the building's structure makes it unusual. The part with first five floors is box-shaped, but the sixteen floors that are above are cut. And higher, twenty-four highest floors are the same sizes as the ones on the bottom. So some part of the higher floors is hanged over an empty space and its supported only by a large, reinforced concrete pillar. This solution was made in order to provide more light to the blocks of flats where the inhabitants were protesting again the construction of the skyscraper. But for sure the reason was also to apply an architectural innovation which would draw attention.
It seems that the new skyscraper goes well with surrounding buildings and it makes together with them an attractive city landscape. Intercontinental is another very high building that was constructed in the area around the Palace of Culture, so domination of the palace is lower and lower. But still a question is when somebody will dare to construct a building higher than Palace of Culture ?
More information about the hotel can be found on its official website: warszawa.intercontinental.com.
(C) 2001-2013 Maciej Blazejewski