The main assumption of the project of rebuilding the Gliwice Shopping Center for hotel purposes is the modernization of the building in terms of technical and aesthetics, so as not to lose the original character of the facility.

Project Name: Hotel In Gliwice
Studio Name: Ema Studio

Hotel In Gliwice By Ema Studio - Sheet1
©Ema Studio

The project involves the use of the modernist style of the building, the history of the facility and the brand of the owner and investor for promotional activities of the hotel. The brand of the Społem cooperative, dating back to the interwar period, gained extraordinary significance and recognition in the second half of the 20th century. We have proposed that this coherent heritage, along with the current fashion for clothes, industrial forms and architecture of that period, become an element that distinguishes the hotel. For these reasons, the proposed architectural interventions are aimed at highlighting and emphasizing the characteristic features of the modernist body of the building. For these reasons, the interior design refers to the interior designing of hotels from that period, without giving up on contemporary trends. And at last for these reasons, the design of the neon sign with the inscription Hotel refers to  the typography of the most popular Społem logotype.

Hotel In Gliwice By Ema Studio - Sheet
©Ema Studio


The building is divided into 9 functional zones:

  1. Entrance hall
  2. Restaurant with an accessible entrance and an outdoor terrace.
  3. Cloakroom and sanitary facilities for hotel employees
  4. Above the entrance hall and the restaurant, there is a technical zone with suspended air-handling units serving both of these zones.
  5. A conference room with an upper hall with sanitary, storage and stage facilities.
  6. Hotel rooms zone. “External” rooms have windows in the south, east and west elevation, “internal” rooms have windows with a view at the green patio. There are 39 rooms in the hotel room zone.
  7. The swimming pool and SPA area have direct connections with the hotel rooms- for guests, and with the upper hall – for “external” visitors.
  8. Within the first floor and above the rooms on the 1st floor, there is a technical zone with air handling units.
  9. The green patio zone ensures the same standard (view and lighting) in all hotel rooms, as well as lighting in the upper hall and corridor next to the conference room. At the same time, out of concern for the privacy of hotel guests, free access to the garden is not provided.
Hotel In Gliwice By Ema Studio - Sheet4
©Ema Studio


Due to the functional division of the facility adopted in this way and the general idea, the reconstruction of the body of the building is limited to:

  1. demolition of the external terrace on the west side, in which an entrance hall with a restaurant is built,
  2. reconstruction of the roof above the hotel floor in order to build an internal patio,
  1. reconstruction of the attic
Hotel In Gliwice By Ema Studio - Sheet5
©Ema Studio

The construction of an internal, green patio allows the introduction of full-size windows in hotel rooms that do not have access to external walls. At the same time, the design of the external walls in the form of triangular bay windows provide the residents with privacy and a view of the properly composed garden. The patio is quite narrow – so it does not take up a lot of usable floor space. At the same time, thanks to the use of upper lighting windows above the bay windows – the rooms are very well lit. The hotel’s patio is also illuminated by a wide corridor next to the conference room used during conference breaks, increasing its class and functionality. Reconstruction of the patio requires the introduction of replacement beams and the disassembly of a fragment of the structural beam as well as the disassembly of some of the roof prefabricated elements.


Due to the nature of the design task: reconstruction and modernization of the shopping center building, which has an attractive, characteristic and clearly defined shape, and the historical vicinity of the building, the building’s architecture design had to meet the following conditions:

  1. to take into account the modernist heritage of the shopping center building, which means both care not to lose the basic principles of shaping the body of the building and create new elements so that they harmonize with the modernist character of the existing building,
  2. unite the scattered western façade, full of solids and installation elements into one coherent whole, lead to an increase in the importance of the façade along ul. Norbert Barlicki by placing entrances and services at street level. In this way, properly “enclose” the entrance to the hotel,
  3. join the newly designed elements of the entrance hall and the restaurant with the existing body,
  4. take into account the historical neighborhood of the building by shaping appropriately subdued architecture in form and color and by designing the “front” character of the elevation along ul. Norbert Barlicki.


EMA STUDIO is a Polish architectural company founded in 2015 as a result of combining the forces of architects with the experience gained since 2007 in renowned architectural studios on significant projects throughout Poland. The company is run by: Ewelina Siestrzewitowska, Mateusz Gierszon and Antoni Surowiak.

EMA STUDIO specializes in designing multi-family residential buildings, public utility buildings as well as passive buildings and buildings with increased energy efficiency. Team members participated in the design of the first public utility building in Poland with the passive architecture standard, as well as many residential and public buildings, mainly in Warsaw and Krakow.

EMA Studio has been awarded in many architectural and urban planning competitions:

– in the competition for the design of the Environmental House of Self-help and a day support facility for children with intellectual disabilities in Warsaw (1st prize)

– in a competition for the development of a model housing estate project for a nationwide housing program (1st prize ex aequo),

– in the competition for the reconstruction of a part of the PSS Społem shopping center into a hotel in Gliwice (1st prize)

– in the competition for the development of the concept for the development of the Słupia River Boulevards in Słupsk (1st prize)

– in the competition for the project of a social and economic innovation cluster in Krakow (2nd prize)

– in the competition for the concept of the system of entry points to the Tatra National Park (3rd prize)

– in the competition for the development of a new station building and the development of areas adjacent to the station in Kołobrzeg (distinction)

– in the competition for the concept of the monument to Ryszard Kuklinski in Krakow (distinction)


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