A state-of-the-art business premises
Rusulet Mihaela, Studio Arca
Built by the well-established real estate company Vox Property Group, Vox Technology Park is much more than an office building, in no small part due to the presence of ground-floor retail spaces, dining and fitness venues, a terrace garden accessible to all users and stairwells that serve as an experimental urban art gallery. The client wanted to build a state-of-the-art business centre that would reflect its own business activity, namely offering high quality and sustainable civil and industrial projects. The building’s contemporary functionality is represented first and foremost by a flexible spatial organisation that allows it to appeal to a wide range of potential users, from small businesses through to large corporations.
The architectural objective was to create a landmark with a strong identity in a still largely undeveloped area to the north of Timisoara, along the busy Calea Torontalului road. One of the toughest challenges of the project, awarded to architect Rusulet Mihaela from the Romanian practice Studio Arca, was the sheer size of the building, whose shape was determined by the client’s desire to make full use of the available land and the maximum height permitted by urban planning regulations. To counterbalance its size, the volume is encased in a shell that «is not intended to negate the scale of the building but merely to tame it», as the architects explain. Glass was used as a backdrop to the regular rhythmic pattern of the matt white finished aluminium panelling, creating a fine web-like texture that helps to lighten up the elevations while at the same time absorbing and reflecting sunlight.
The exclusive and refined but welcoming interiors are the result of a meticulously designed interaction between furnishings, materials and lighting. The project, which won 3rd prize in the Public Building category of the 11th Casalgrande Padana Grand Prix award, made extensive use of ceramic tile. The architects utilised a total of 2,500 sqm of Casalgrande Padana’s Marmoker collection marble-effect porcelain slabs, chosen in a glossy finish that takes on different shades of grey according to the lighting conditions and multiplies its reflections. In this project, these characteristics are accentuated by the decision to use the slabs not just on the floors but also on portions of the walls and ceilings, thereby creating an almost three-dimensional effect.
The common spaces are dominated by this dialogue between light and ceramics. On the ground floor, where the glass wall blurs the distinction between interior and exterior, this interaction creates an impressive and constantly changing chiaroscuro effect that varies according to the time of day and the conditions of the sky. The interactions with the artificial lighting fixtures are more precisely defined, creating a series of reflected geometries on the walls and floors that are transformed into intangible architectural elements.
Casalgrande Padana, Marmoker
90x180, 45x90 cm
Jolie Lucida, Jolie Gloss
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 45N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant