The competition project by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) for a new business center in Lithuania is approved by the city of Vilnius. Integrated into the municipality’s urban plan and the popular public square adjacent to the site, the ZHA-designed Business Stadium Central will take the form of a dynamic gathering center, with construction starting in the second quarter of 2023.
Spanning 24,000 m², ZHA’s proposal houses two low-rise towers of eight and nine storeys, linked at street level by an atrium, two floors of public amenities and a skybridge joining the two structures at the fifth. The towers feature curved facades and cantilevered balcony stacks directed towards the historic Gediminas Castle tower in the heart of Vilnius. Reinterpreting the dynamic geometries of the district’s existing civic architecture, Business Stadium Central also features 11,750 m² of landscaped terraces, rooftop gardens and spaces that open directly onto the public square created by Martha Schwartz. Lined with cafés, restaurants and boutiques, the atrium courtyard welcomes residents, office workers and visitors alike. Elevators lead to the top floors, which feature two public swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and sun terraces offering panoramic views of Vilnius’s historic old town. Keen to extend the life cycle of the project, the architects imagined flexible office spaces on the central floors of each tower, with maximum adaptability. With different sizes and layouts, these work areas are suitable for a wide variety of businesses, from start-ups to established international companies, and are linked to rooftop gardens and terraces overlooking the surrounding area. In the region’s humid continental climate, the designers used an annual solar analysis to compose the exterior envelope – a series of glazed facades with louvers and balconies, precisely designed to minimize direct sun exposure in summer and maximize solar heat gain during cooler periods. These external shading devices are aligned with the sun’s lowest altitude between October and April, around 38°, and are perpendicular to the sun’s highest position in the region’s summer sky, 151°. Natural hybrid ventilation for most of the year and high-efficiency heat exchange and recovery systems will reduce energy consumption, while low-emissivity double glazing will ensure excellent levels of natural lighting throughout. Inside, a wood palette creates a warm ambience while encouraging sustainable building practices. Digitally optimized design processes minimize the amount of materials required, and are integrated with procurement systems that increase the project’s recycled content. Timber will be sourced from certified local parties and will be included in the global supply chains that ZHA has established to reduce delivery distances. All specified materials are assessed for ease of disassembly and reuse at the end of the building’s operational life.