Grand opening of Warsaw Spire
The symbol of a modern and economically powerful Warsaw became a reality on 12th May. The Spire landmark building was officially inaugurated by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and the Mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, in the presence of many dignitaries, including the President of the Employer Federation, Andrzej Malinowski, and the Belgian ambassador, Her Excellency Colette Baquet.
The opening was also attended in large numbers by the Belgian and Polish media. The people of Warsaw were treated to an impressive firework display as a dazzling climax to the day. “I love Warsaw” was a phrase that resounded loudly through the Polish social media. A clear look of appreciation on the part of the city’s residents.
More than 750 guests enjoyed the extraordinary architecture and many innovative details during their tour of the building. It was the multifunctional design of European Square that gained so much attention. It was in a fairly desolate area of the city that Paul Gheysens purchased land 20 years ago. It has now become the beating heart of the business community.
The Spire is a powerful example of Belgian architecture and technology. Paul Gheysens made the first sketches of the architecture and spatial design, with Belgian architects Jaspers & Eyers developing them further. The Belgian landscape designer Wirtz was responsible for European Square. Many Belgian companies have contributed their technological innovations to the Spire: the unique glazed façade (AGC Glass Europe, formerly Glaverbel), the aluminium profiles (Reynaers), the waterproofing (Dekkers, Tectum), the secure access to the car park and access to the Spire (Automatic Systems Belgium), the carpeting (Modulyss) and so on.
Once all of the tenants have moved in there will 8,000 people working in European Square. The tower houses around 15 football pitches of office, including facility areas. European Square has many assets when it comes to high levels of hospitality amenities. The site is also expected to host some 20,000 people every day, offering everyone an inspiring experience. A great many leading companies and institutions will be taking up residency in the months ahead. Frontex and Samsung have already moved in and other tenants such as Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, JLL, MasterCard and others will follow in the months ahead. Ghelamco very much believes that an innovative, pleasant environment provides stimulation and contributes to creativity and excellent performance.
During the opening ceremony, the Mayor and Chairman of the Polish Employer Federation unveiled two murals: ‘I love Warsaw’ by the Polish master, Rafal Olbinski, and ‘The Giants’ by the Belgian painter, François Schuiten. Colette Taquet added: “The images they created invite us to think, to imagine different lives, different worlds. What do they say? One says that Warsaw is a city, with a heart and a memory and a soul. A city whose inhabitants have shown their true value throughout the centuries. And they will continue to do so, because Warsaw is already a city of the Future. The Warsaw Spire is just a first sign of this new urban modernity. And to make us aware of the many possible futures, we need Giants, giving us a view from above, making dreams last and carrying our aspirations higher. This is perhaps the secret reason for building the Warsaw Spire”.
Warsaw mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz-waltz, and president of the Polish employer federation, Andrzej Malinowski, particularly expressed their appreciation for the un-interrupted presence of Ghelamco in Poland, including in times of crisis and during the many difficult moments that the polish economy has experienced in the past 25 years. Andrzej Malinowski, president of the polish employer federation, also presented Paul Gheysens with the vector (Poland’s highest business honour) for his continuous input and special contribution to the polish economy and the Warsaw skyline.
Along the permanent ‘Art Walk’ in European Square, promising young artists and creative minds can display their paintings, sculptures, photos or fashion projects. Ghelamco believes that art has an inspirational effect for the surroundings and that creativity is stimulating, which typifies the leading tenants.
Ghelamco has also established the “Sztuka w Miescie” (Art in the City) Foundation, designed to involve the local community as much as possible in the development of European Square through a variety of events. The ‘I love Warsaw’ LED sign that adorned the highest floors of Warsaw Spire during the construction works, already has hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans. The sign’s successor, the huge LED screen, is expected to raise €300,000 annually as a medium for displaying information about smart CSR activities and broadcasting messages. The money raised will go in full to the Foundation for new creative art and culture initiatives, working for and with the residents of Warsaw.
Opening Warsaw Spire