The practice was commissioned to help reposition the 30,000 sqm Galeria Turzyn following its acquisition in 2013 by a fund managed by Tristan Capital Partners and the appointment of Balmain as asset managers.
The centre has 81 shops and is one of a number of retail centres in the city. Antoni Konarski, who led the design team, said the project aimed to distinguish Galeria Turzyn in an increasing competitive retail sector in the City.
He said: “Szczecin is not far from Berlin, a city that is very much seen by customers as the trend setter in the region with its less corporate and more authentic and honest style and this is what framed our approach.
“We looked to inject more character into the shopping centre and move away from the white box approach so we introduced a very simple mesh on the ceilings and a colour scheme of different shades of grey to create a more formally honest look and feel for the interior.
“We stripped back everything so the centre is not competing with the shop fronts and supported this with new lighting. We created islands for sitting throughout the centre with soft furnishings to bring some warmth to the scheme.”
Galeria Turzyn was opened in 2001 and attracts almost five million visitors a year with an average daily footfall of 13,000. Overall the Polish retail sector continues to see significant growth and Robert Kaminski, who heads Broadway Malyan’s Warsaw studio, believes it is important that centres adapt to the changing trends in the sector.
He said: “Poland is now one of Europe’s largest retail sectors with strong growth prospects, particularly around shopping centres. The growing maturity of the sector and the changing expectations of shoppers is driving a need for retail to continually evolve its offer and move beyond being somewhere just to shop.
“Providing something beyond the ordinary for shoppers has become increasingly important with food and leisure now a central part of any strategy to attract and retain visitors.
“From a design perspective, it is a sector that now demands a holistic approach where architecture, lighting, landscaping, branding and signage must work together to create a more comfortable and memorable experience for shoppers.”