Adris Group Building project is a competition entry for the new headquaters of the company in Zagreb from 2007. The site was a former tobacco factory located in one of the blocks of the western part of the 19ct Zagreb Lower Town. The old factory building, buit in 1882, was to be preserved and transformed in a museum, and the remaining part of the site was left for the new office program. The site is uncaracteristic for the Zagreb block structure: it is facing the railway and a bussy street on the southern side, and it has a gas station inside the block that had to be kept in the proposal, a unique condition for the Zagreb city center.

 

The project investigated corporative office typology and its ability to generate public space. Offices are by nature a closed program, difficult to create an exciting urban environment.  Instead of building a structure on the perimeter of the block, that creates a characteristic configuration with public street on the outside and enclosed private court on the inside,  the concept raises the program in a structure that hovers over the existing block. In this way the ground floor was made completely accessible to the public, creating a covered square below the new office building.  A condition similar to the scene from the Independence Day film, when the gigantic flying saucers covered the whole cities.

 

The building is generated through free connection of the independent geometries, supporting structure as one, and a “flying saucere” as second one. Similar to the way forms like “New Babylon” sculptures, or cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants have been created. The new structure is supported with four sets of large steel columns. Access to the office part is through four supporting “legs”,  each with a program on the ground floor and a hollow core leading to the structure above. Offices are organized within a horizontal frame structure, combined with programs like recreation center, restaurants, child care facilities.  This mixed structure takes advantantage of the penthouse condition with a 360 degree panorama of Zagreb.

 

The follow-up of the competition has demonstrated the difficulties for introduction of new typologies in a regulated urban environment.