Even for a firm as happy to experiment as MVRDV, its Bałtyk tower has a very unusual design. Located in Poznań, Poland, the mixed-use building looks totally different depending on the where you view it from, appearing almost too narrow to support itself from some angles and solid and wide from others.
In development since 2011, the recently-completed Bałtyk rises to 18 stories. The building sports a facade made up of floor-to-ceiling glass, while glass fiber concrete louvers mitigate the sun's impact. According to MVRDV, the tower's unusual pixelated form was informed by volume and height restrictions on the site.
Inside, Bałtyk has a total floorspace of 25,000 sq m (269,097 sq ft). Much of this is taken up by office space, which is limited to a depth of only 7 m (22 ft) to ensure that natural light can permeate within. In addition, the tower hosts a large panoramic restaurant, retail space in the plinth, and three levels of underground parking.
Other attractions include a fitness club and a jazz club on the 16th floor. The south-facing side of the building features stepped patios which provide outdoor terrace space and allow users to enjoy some fresh air and choice views of the city.
"MVRDV and co-architects NO Natkaniec/Olechnicki Architekci designs responds to the client's request for more fluent connections between lower and upper levels, connect the building to the neighborhood and at the same time, is bold and significant with its depth in the volume," writes the firm. "Diagonal shapes are turned into terraces for users, and this thins out as it ascends allowing for less square meters of offices in return for more public space below."
MVRDV is one of the best in the business at making bizarre but very attractive buildings. Those left wanting more would be well-advised to check out the Markthal, Casa Kwantes, and Glass Farm projects.