Foster + Partners-designed supertall is EU's new tallest skyscraper
Following five years of construction, the European Union's new tallest skyscraper has been completed in Warsaw. Named Varso Tower, the building was designed by Foster + Partners and rises to an impressive height of 310 m (1,017 ft), and is also home to Poland's highest viewing point.
Varso Tower is part of a larger development in Warsaw by HB Reavis called Varso Place. Structurally, it's built from concrete, glass-reinforced concrete, and has a glazed exterior, with a stepped rectangular form. The building proper is actually230 m (754 ft) in height, but it's topped by a spire measuring 80 m (262 ft), bringing the overall height to 310 m.
Its interior measures roughly 67,000 sq m (721,000 sq ft), spread over 54 floors, and has a capacity for 11,817 people. The available floorspace is mostly given over to office space, though it does contain an enclosed plaza hosting multiple trees and artwork, plus the viewing platform at level 53 that's the highest viewing point in Poland and provides choice views of the city. A landscaped terrace area and bar including 16 trees, is located on floor 49 too.
The skyscraper has received the BREEAM green building standard for its relative energy efficiency (for a huge concrete skyscraper, that is), and it's finished in high-performance triple-glazed glass, which reduces its solar heat gain, while rainwater is collected to be used for irrigation.
For those unfamiliar with the more complex details of the geographical and political makeup of Europe, Varso Tower is indeed the tallest skyscraper in the European Union, which is a political union of 27 European states, overtaking the previous tallest, Germany's Commerzbank Tower, also by Foster + Partners. However, it's not the tallest skyscraper in the continent of Europe. Russia's Lakhta Center still reigns supreme at a height of 462 m (1,516 ft) in St. Petersburg. Incidentally, even if the UK hadn't voted for Brexit, Varso Tower would still just about scrape in as the tallest skyscraper in the EU because London's Shard has an official height of 309.6 m (1,015 ft) - or a mere 40 cm (15.7 in) shorter.
The project also involved BuroHappold and Epstein, and is the second high-profile skyscraper in recent weeks from Foster + Partners, following the completion of its 50 Hudson Yards in Manhattan, New York City.
Source: Foster + Partners