The last update was about a month ago and I expressed some surprise that the project was still going strong. Well, it seems the surprise might have been justified as the project was the main feature on the front page of the Gazeta Wyborcza Warsaw edition this morning. The gist of the article is that it’s all gone pear-shaped, lots of money owed to a range of people, negotiations underway to try and save the project but an official announcement next week might bring an end to the skyward thrusting we have become used to. If you need English you can try the Google translation service, which will give you fun paragraphs like these:
- I had a contract until the end of construction – say the operator of one of the lifts. On Friday, told us that we have to build the last Friday of the ceiling. On Saturday we heard that for the time being taken for future work. Monday 70 percent crew is not there already on the site. No one we do not officially announced anything, but it is obvious that the construction is.
Staff provided Orco yesterday that there is no question that high-rise has become a concrete ogryzkiem szpecącym the city center. Admitted, however, that soon will be removed with a crane. They claimed that due to technical reasons only.
I’m guessing that the untranslated phrase “ogryzkiem szpecącym” is something akin to what in English would be a “White Elephant”. Definitions of which include;
1. a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of: Our Victorian bric-a-brac and furniture were white elephants.
2. a possession entailing great expense out of proportion to its usefulness or value to the owner: When he bought the mansion he didn’t know it was going to be such a white elephant.
Fairly appropriate methinks!
So, prediction sadly come true that they would ruin our view before they stopped work!! We shall await further news by way of official announcements next week. In the meantime we might try to help by coming up with a few ideas on what use could be made of a concrete skeleton in downtown Warsaw? The majority of what has been built is, I think, car parking and God knows Warsaw could do with more of that! My vote goes for the city buying it to use as a car park meaning they don’t need to dig up Emilii Plater to create parking spaces there and can therefore improve that street more quickly than planned.
I had a request for a further update on the progress of Złota 44, so here it is.
Last time I reported was two months ago in early December and rumours were rife that construction might be stopping soon. Well, they did have a fairly long break for Christmas and were slowed down by the very cold weather in January but haven’t stopped yet and have now got to the point where the view from our coffee room is ruined.
The footprint of the rising tower has shrunk to just that part that’s going sky-high leaving a part that one assumes will be a terrace of some kind hanging out at the Pałac end.
You can get a better idea of the way apartments fit into this concrete Meccano set from Yellerbelly’s excellent update from mid Jan.
Here’s a view of the coal face as it stood earlier today. Not as many workers as there used to be but maybe today’s bitter wind is keeping them in their barrak!
It is now so large that it’s impossible to get a view of the whole thing with my camera without walking down the street so here’s the “big picture” with PKN in the background.
Apologies for the crappy photos but I’m using my old Fuji on low resolution.
Some shots of Złota 44 from yesterday.
They are up to the eighth floor level and things are starting to get weird with a large cantilevered lump hanging out the back end.
This lump is joined by a rather strangely angled beam snaking across the eighth floor-plate (no photo). Up ’till now the construction has just been a stack of regularly shaped rectangular pancakes one on top of the other so it’s nice to see something new coming along.
I wondered some time ago about whether the developer can keep going with this project. Lets face it, the signs are not good – funding is difficult and the prices of super-luxury apartments have taken a nose-dive so the economics for the project must look very different now to when it was dreamt up and funded originally. Anyway, all I can say is that for the first time this week I’ve had two other people suggesting the same thing, but in stronger terms.
If it is going to stop, and I really don’t want it to, it would be great if they could stop soon so as not to leave us with a view onto an empty concrete shell for [period of time].
Here are a few shots taken last week. It is pretty much business as usual on the site with the cycle of shuttering, reinforcement, concrete continuing on up the building.
They have now finished the 6th floor and are working on the 7th so their progress might be calculated as nearly three floors per month. Pretty good.
As it rises, it becomes more obvious from our coffee lounge. Another three months or so and this room is going to have a much restricted view.
As you can see, they have now completed the taller ground level for reception and commercial use as well as three upper floors. As I write they are busy laying the reinforcement for the 4th floor slab, many of the columns are already finished.
The daily grind on site is one of candy-stripe lorries full of concrete, tons of re-bar, pumping, leveling, formwork….move onto the next level. It really is a very meccano-like building site these days.
So far, so good, but I can’t help worrying that it is all going to grind to a halt and I’m going to be faced with X floors of an unfinished building waiting for someone to finish it off. What with the whole global munch-crunch and the investor’s shares having dropped from over 100 Euro to less than 20 in the last year it just leaves one with a sense of impending doom-gloom. Remember the Turkish white-elephant that is now reborn as “Blue City”? That was a few thousand tons of redundant concrete for years on end. Hopefully history is not about to repeat itself.
The investor held a big party last week, attended by Libeskind (the architect) and presumably other celebs. I didn’t find out what the party was for, to keep everyone interested, to encourage people to make their payments, to reassure perhaps? “We have every confidence that despite the global munch-bunch everything is going to just fine and we have full confidence in this project and its timely completion.”.
If this is anything like football, perhaps we should start taking bets about on which floor level works will stop? :) Like one of today’s sports headlines – “Ramos stays calm over job future”. Yeah, right!