Black, white and nature – these elements were the source of inspiration for the architectural design of Apranga’s new administration and logistics premises.
“Our starting point was minimalism, black and white are the colours appearing in nature. All other colours come between them. Another theme was movement, with upright lamellas bringing the façade of the building to life,” says architect Algirdas Kauŝpėdas, project lead at the architect office of JP Architektūra.
Apranga is a Lithuanian group and a leading fashion retailer of many brands of clothes, footwear and leather goods in the Baltic states. The Group has some 200 brand partnerships including those with Hugo Boss, Mango and Zara. The new premises serve as a distribution hub to 180 stores in the Baltics.
Gate to Vilnius and example for continued planning
Completed in 2018, the new premises have a floor area of around 15,500 square metres, of which the administration building is 3,500 square metres. The logistics hall and administration building are distinct from each other. This was also what the architect proposed to the customer.
“The administration building is the company’s business card and gives a dignified impression of the company. Seen as a whole, the entire administration building appears to float, highlighting the warehouse building even though the latter is much smaller,” explains Algirdas Kauŝpėdas,
“The building is located on a busy road on the edge of the city and also portrays an elegant picture of the city itself. In a way, it’s become the gateway to Vilnius,” says design lead Andrius Juodpusis at the architect office of JP Architektūra.
Apranga was earlier based in an industrial zone in Vilnius.
“It was interesting to design a building for a completely vacant plot since it also serves as the starting shot for future development of the area,” adds Algirdas Kauŝpėdas.
Contemporary construction includes panels
Energy efficiency and high quality were Apranga’s criteria for the building. In addition, the interior of the building had to be pleasant and to serve as a meeting place for employees in much the same way as the market squares do for Vilnians in the city centre. The decor was to be classical and distinct and, since fashion and fashion houses originate from different cultures, the décor also needed to be in harmony with different cultures.
Ruukki’s sandwich panels were used in the buildings. Andrius Juodpusis considers the panels to be ideally suited to logistics centres, warehouses and markets.
“They are part of contemporary construction. Sandwich panels could be used more widely, in schools and public buildings, for example. Building with sandwich panels is simple and effective, aspects that must always be encouraged when building with public money,” notes Algirdas Kauŝpėdas.
Site respecting the environment
Nature, one of the three elements, is also visible inside the building. Nature enters the building through the glass walls in the entrance lobby. The workspaces in the administration building are white, the coffee room and other spaces are colourful. The meeting rooms have been decorated according to the seasons. Fashion seasons and the seasons of the year all have their colours, now so do the meeting rooms.
The building benefits from geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and there are charging points in the carpark for e-vehicles. The environment has also been taken into account by using steel lamellas supplied by Ruukki to erect a noise attenuation wall around the edge of the plot. The noise originating in deliveries does not disturb the neighbourhood.
Good service frees up time for creativity
Energy efficiency was one criterion and the building is certainly energy efficient, It meets energy class A+ requirements.
Architect Andrius Juodpusis points out that Ruukki’s sandwich panels played an important role in energy efficiency. The panels were also used in the partition walls of the administration and warehouse buildings and in the required fire protection between the parts of the building. Andrius Juodpusis is really pleased with Ruukki’s part.
”Product support is good and both data and personal help are available when needed. Ruukki has a wide range of products, which have a long guarantee.”
When designing the Apranga premises, Ruukki’s designer made a layout, i.e. a detailed plan of the number of panels needed, their position and how they would be used to make the design details.
“The service was really good and meant we didn’t need to spend time learning in-depth about the panels and their properties. This gave us more time to spend on creative work, which is what we are best at,” enthuses Andrius Juodpusis.