by Sara Costi
Built by the Vox Property Group, the Vox Technology Park, located on Calea Torontalului, a busy road in the north of Timisoara, Romania, is much more than just an office building. Composed of a car park in the basement and commercial spaces on the ground floor, as well as catering and fitness services, conference rooms, a scenic terrace with garden accessible to all users and stairwells used as an experimental gallery, it is also the first building of its size to be constructed in a large undeveloped area where a building process has just got under way. One of the main objectives pursued by Rusulet Mihaela of the Studio Arca firm was to create a structure with a strong urban identity that would make it a benchmark for the whole area.
The distinctive geometry of the construction site, the sides of which have a ratio of 1 to 6, together with the client’s need to make maximum possible use of the area available, made it necessary to build on the entire area and up to the maximum height permitted by the regulations in force. The resulting “container” was covered with transparent glass: an imposing feature that was not concealed, but rather “tamed” by using an elegant, rhythmical white fretwork effect all over the entire volumetric composition, whose impressive dimensions have been balanced by the delicate, transparent pattern of the façades.
The floors and walls of the lobbies have been tiled with porcelain stoneware tiles from the Marmoker collection, in the colour Jolie, in the 45x90 cm and 90x180 cm formats, with a polished finish, for a total area of 2500 sq.m. The installation on both the floors and walls, together with the polished surface, helps create an almost three-dimensional effect.
Because it was not possible to create intermediate entrance areas due to the extremely narrow shape of the land, the design of the lobbies on the ground floor comprises a wall covered in glass all over, without vertical structural elements. The use of ceramic tiles with a polished finish on both the floors and walls has helped dissolve the construction lines, for a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior. The lobby area continues at street level, and everything is reflected and doubled: the circles of light positioned on the ceilings can also be seen reflected on the floors and on the walls.
With a surface area of around 3500 sq.m. per floor, the building guarantees a high level of functional flexibility for a huge range of potential users: from small enterprises to large companies that require a large amount of space and functional equipment. The utility areas have been located in a central position, so as to leave the façade completely clear for the offices. Another important aspect is the availability of natural light: although the building is rather narrow, it has nonetheless been designed to provide excellent natural lighting in all the work areas. The building has obtained BREEAM certification, receiving, at the design stage, the rating “Excellent”, with the highest score achieved so far in Romania.
The walls of the stairs, which comprise an area of around 3000 sq.m., feature an original urban project entitled “VOX Grafitti Wall Mural”, the aim of which is to erase the borders marked by the apparent concrete walls, offering the visitor the chance to experience an experimental art gallery, bursting with life and colour, in an atypical setting that is usually seen as a simply auxiliary area of little importance.