Atrium International demolition process begins
  • Developer STRABAG Real Estate is starting the demolition process of Warsaw’s Atrium International office building.
  • The 1990s building will be replaced by the Upper One office and hotel complex.

Warsaw, 18 January 2023 – The demolition of the Atrium International office building, owned by developer STRABAG Real Estate, has begun. The site at the junction of Grzybowska Street and Jana Pawła II Avenue in Warsaw has already been handed over to the general contractor, the construction company STRABAG. The dismantling of the nearly 30-year-old building is the first step in the development of the Upper One complex – a 34-story high-rise office building and a 17-story hotel.

The plot owned by STRABAG Real Estate is already fenced off. The works have been divided into three stages. The first will include so-called soft demolition, i.e. the dismantling of the building’s interior. During this time, recyclable elements will be secured. In subsequent phases, the building will be demolished – divided into an above-ground and an underground part. In turn, the developer has scheduled work on the Upper One underground structure for 2024. The commissioning of the complex, according to the schedule, will take place two years later – in 2026. In the near future, it will be the only office project under construction located in Warsaw’s Central Business District.

“Polish cities are undergoing another wave of transformation – modernization and demolition. This is particularly evident in Warsaw – the place where the domestic office market was created. Buildings that are out of step with modern requirements are giving way to new projects with features focused on tenant welfare, proptech solutions, and the environment. By demolishing Atrium International, we are giving space for the development of an investment that will fully exploit the potential of the site and meet the expectations of the urban space. However, we do not want to cut ourselves off from the history of the site, which is why some elements of the interior of the former building, after their transformation, will be incorporated into the architectural design of Upper One,” explains Łukasz Ciesielski, managing director of the development company STRABAG Real Estate in Poland.

The second life of the investment

The demolition of Atrium International will be carried out in accordance with the principles of a circular economy, and certain elements of the interior have already found their reuse. The marble recovered from the common areas of the Atrium International building will be used for the flooring that will be found in the Upper One main lobby and in all the lift lobbies. The ramp along with part of the garage will also be preserved.

In an effort to make the best possible reuse of the equipment in the disused office building, STRABAG Real Estate donated kitchen appliances to the Heart of Warsaw Foundation helping people in crisis of homelessness. In addition, some of the items were donated to the Bemowo Social Welfare Centre and used in units within the structure of the Social Welfare Centre, including the Senior Citizens’ Support Centre and the Support Centre for the Disabled.

The investment’s equipment also contributed to one of the refugee accommodation points in Warsaw. Helping the citizens of Ukraine is a particularly important moment in the history of Atrium International – before the building was handed over to the general contractor, the office building served as a temporary shelter, and a total of more than 700 people found a roof over their heads here. In order to continue its support for those most in need, the STRABAG Group plans to donate some of the elements from the disused building also to help Ukraine.

During the works, all materials obtained from the demolition will be segregated. In addition, STRABAG Real Estate operates according to the Taxonomy guidelines aimed at strictly limiting the generation of waste, which means that the company will strive for reuse, recycling, and other processes involving the recovery of demolition materials. By implementing circularity and sustainability solutions, the developer wants to realistically reduce the impact of the whole process on the environment and the community. Acting with respect for ESG is part of a broader strategy for the entire STRABAG Group.

What’s next?

STRABAG Real Estate has received building permit for the development that will replace Atrium International. Upper One will offer the first office building of its kind in the country to be equipped with a geothermal system. It will deliver 35,900 sqm of leasable space to the market – the developer recently announced that the commercialization process has started. The project will also include a hotel of around 11,000 sq m. GLA and nearly 300 rooms.

STRABAG Real Estate intends to develop both buildings – the office building and the hotel – in parallel and has scheduled the end of construction for 2026. It also intends to provide more than 200 parking spaces throughout the complex, including charging points for electric cars.

Upper One was designed by the Polish studio Medusa Group in cooperation with Austrian studio MHM architects, and the exclusive leasing agent for the office part is the international consultancy Cushman & Wakefield.