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Major modernisation planned for Manufaktura

Anna Pakulniewicz 21 May 2019
Major modernisation planned for Manufaktura
The new design is by Sud Architekt Polska, also responsible for the original design of the centre

POLAND The Manufaktura shopping centre in Łódź is to be modernised in what the owner, Union Investment Real Estate, claims to be an “exceptional” investment.

At a cost of PLN 90 mln, this will be the largest investment in the centre’s 13-year history. Union Investment Real Estate has been planning the renovations with property manager Apsys Polska for a number of years. “When we were working on this project, we paid particular attention to the customer experience, which is particularly important in modern retail,” says Marcin Stokowiec, the investment director at Apsys Polska.

Although the entire centre is to be modernised, the mall is to continue operating throughout the entire 17 months of the work. The new design is by Sud Architekt Polska, which was also responsible for the original design of the centre, and is based on the results of a consumer survey that used the mind16 methodology to assess visitor preferences. “The main inspiration was Łódź’s textile history, but the design was also based on Manufaktura’s ‘genius loci’ [a protective spirit of a place] and the role it plays in the city. (...) The ultimate effect is a refined atmosphere that subtly blends the modern with the industrial,” says Jocelyn Fillard, a partner at Sud Architekt Polska.

The survey of customer needs and preferences was conducted by the Reteam Group and was very detailed. “Today, getting to know your customers – who they are, their preferences, and why they come to us - is crucial. The competition is intense, because as well as other retail centres there is also a very extensive e-commerce market. This is why it is so important for a project to be tailor-made and retailers need to pay a lot of attention to customer preferences. If a place is not attractive, people will look for alternatives,” explains Kathrine Heiberg, the owner of Reteam Group.

After 17 months of work, in the autumn of 2020, the Manufaktura shopping centre is to look very different than it does today. The changes will be immediately visible from the main entrance on the market side. The vestibule will disappear and revolving doors will replace the automatic doors, providing better thermal insulation inside the building. The new floor in the main entrance will be a continuation of the market paving. The wooden floors laid in 2006 will be renovated. The shopping centre’s façade will follow current trends and will have a grey colour scheme that refers to the site’s former industrial use.

The centre’s rotunda area will feature state-of-the-art lighting arrangements and other technical systems. UK-based SKR Light was commissioned to design a completely new lighting arrangement. “The purpose of this investment is, of course, to modernise the building, to increase the comfort of visitors and their dwell time in the centre as well as to introduce energy-saving systems that are environmentally sustainable. As a result of replacing the lighting, electricity consumption will be reduced by as much as 30 pct,” claims Sławomir Murawski, the director of Manufaktura.

The restaurant area presents the biggest challenges in the renovation. The space will be significantly brighter with more natural daylight from a large skylight that is to be mounted in the roof. The air-conditioning and ventilation systems are also to be replaced. The interior arrangement is to be completely changed with floors, furnishings and lighting to be replaced and the finish will be of wood and of other natural materials to ensure a welcoming atmosphere.

A zone for families with small children will be created in the restaurant area and the outdated play area is also to be changed.

As a result of the work an extra leasable area of around 1,000 sqm is to be created. The windows on the first floor are to be raised by more than a metre, which will significantly increase the visibility of the brands on this floor and better expose their logos, while remaining aesthetically pleasing.

The leisure zones are also to be redeveloped. The design focuses not only on convenience, but is also modern and bold and skillfully combines with the original areas set aside for greenery.

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