Building structure completed at Liberty, WING’s mixed-use development in Budapest
Civil works on the Liberty office building started in September 2019. The property is located on Könyves Kálmán körút in District 9, an area undergoing dynamic development and continuous renewal. The property is adjacent to the Telekom headquarters building, another WING development project. Liberty has now reached its next stage: the completion of the building structure of the two wings in June – according to schedule – brings it one step closer to completion.
Functions and services
The southern wing of the building, built as the first phase of the project, will house offices as well as a 332-room dual-branded ibis-Tribe hotel. The part of the building that will be used as office space will open in spring 2023, while the hotels – including Hungary’s first Tribe hotel – will welcome visitors from autumn 2023. The second phase will see the construction of the north wing, housing the offices, which is also scheduled for completion in autumn 2023. The two functions will be separated in the building, but will complement each other well, with office and hotel floors accessible from separate lobbies. The hotel rooms will be located on floors 5 to 8.
The ground floor lobby will welcome visitors with a restaurant and business corner, as well as a conference room with a capacity of 250 people. The same services will also be available for office tenants, as well as, for example, a dry cleaning service, taxi ordering or bicycle storage facilities and changing rooms for cyclists, amenities considered essential today. The building includes an inner courtyard with plants and water surfaces designed by ecologists to provide a refreshing outdoor space for relaxation, even in the coldest months. Athletic fields, a running track and rest areas will provide additional options for active recreation on the roof.
The Liberty office building features a number of unique solutions even before its completion: exceptional elements were used already from the design and structural construction phases of the property. Both aesthetics and functionality were primary considerations during the planning phase. The sills, made from precast concrete elements, which protrude from the façade at each level, not only serve as prominent architectural elements, but also act as a firebreak between floors and walkways for window cleaning operations, and provide the support structure for the decorative reeds. The sloping sills have been fitted with rigid steel inserts, making the winning shape equally durable.
Interesting facts about the construction of the Liberty Office Building:
* It would have taken the water from 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools to fill the pit dug for the building’s foundations.
* Some 34,000 cubic metres of concrete were used during construction, equivalent to a cube with each side measuring approximately 32.5 metres.
* Approximately 3,600 tonnes of reinforcing steel were used in the construction of the building, which is equivalent to the weight of 2,200 average cars or 20 empty Boeing 747s.
In addition to the multi-functional elements, green solutions played a key role in the planning, with the building aiming for BREEAM Excellent environmental certification. As a result, the Liberty incorporates energy-efficient technologies, including heat recovery ventilation equipment, energy-efficient LED lighting and efficient sanitary facilities. Electric charging stations are also installed to provide power for the increasingly popular electric vehicles.
WING’s market analysis shows that tenants are primarily looking for the right location when choosing an office building, seeking options that are easily accessible by car and public transport. And to benefit from quality technical content, they are willing to pay a premium in rental costs. However, in exchange for these higher costs, they increasingly want turnkey solutions, quality green technologies and customisable interior spaces. Existing well-located office buildings have been able to maintain their rental rates in 2021 and the first half of 2022, and in some cases even increase them slightly. Where development projects are concerned, rental rates show an even more marked increase. The supply rent level in the case of development projects usually starts at EUR 16, and today the higher cut-off rates of EUR 19-20 are no longer observed only in city centres. WING’s experiences show that flexible and people-oriented planning is the key to successful office projects, while at the same time demand is also increasing for buildings with other functions, such as shops or flats.
Liberty is located at the intersection of Albert Flórián út and Könyves Kálmán körút, at the gateway to the city centre for those arriving from Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. The M3 metro line, which is currently being renovated, offers a direct and convenient connection to the city centre, while tram line 1, which passes right in front of the building, is another alternative. National and international lines are available from Népliget bus station and Ferencváros train station. A few minutes away from Liberty is the Lurdy Ház shopping centre, as well as a grocery shop and several dining options; the building next to the Telekom headquarters houses a Café Frei. Major developments have been completed or are underway in the area, which continue to enhance the prestige of the area.