Suburbia is losing its attraction to the tantalizing appeal of living in the very heart of the bustling city center, and living outside the city is giving way to the idea of living above it
By Karolina Papros
The majority of city dwellers may well associate living in the city center with post-war tenement houses overlook¬ing the noisiest and busiest streets of Warsaw, which is as far from peace and quiet as it gets. Even a decade ago, owning a house or a mansion in the suburbs used to be the goal for many up-and-coming entrepreneurs and cultural icons. However, people are beginning to realize that you could easily achieve the same level of peacefulness when living 30 or even 50 floors above street level.
Living in the heart of the city has undeniable upsides. It saves an enormous amount of time, the most precious commodity today, as well as stress and the inconvenience of muddling through rush hour jams. Not to mention the obvious environmen¬tal considerations. A night out with friends will never again turn into a logistical conundrum. And on top of it all there are breathtaking panoramic views of the city, something you cannot experience anywhere else, combined with the luxury of tranquility. “Liv¬ing in the clouds is everyone’s dream. Once you look at Warsaw from above, you do not want to stop. It’s addictive. That’s why Poles stopped moving outside the city. Today, they move above the city,” summa¬rized Michał Lech, a real estate agent.
Living in a residential tower in the very center of Warsaw, you get to have your cake and eat it too: you are away from all the noise and smog, but at the same time at the very center of things. People who are interested in a long-term apartment rental such as No.44 Luxury Rental at Złota 44 are mainly Poles and expats with successful careers or global busi¬nesses. One of them is model and actress Joanna Krupa, who appreciated the high-quality service, comfort and luxury offered by the tower and rented one of the tower’s luxurious apartments last year.
All of the tenants enjoy unlimited access to the building’s recreational zone with a spa, sauna, jacuzzi, a spacious viewing terrace. Lech explains why nowadays the idea of shared space is so impor¬tant: “More and more often we stop building walls, but we start appreciating life in urban communi¬ties.” Tenants can have a friendly and stimulating chat with their neighbors over a cup of coffee in the morning or meet influential movers and shakers and discuss business. “The best deals in Warsaw are made over coffee while wearing slippers,” noticed Lech. Some of the tenants even admit to looking for the possibility of a romance with likeminded people. And what better way to strike up a conversation, be it of a professional or personal nature, than to discuss art? Especially when you have a private mini gallery to enjoy in the intimate space of the apartment.
“Introducing art into the apartments for rent in No. 44 Luxury Rental is the first undertaking of this type on the Polish market,” explained Anna Theiss, part¬ner at Aurabilia, and added that “Art in rental proper¬ ties has been located so far only in common spaces – lobbies, lounges or bars.” That is not the case in No.44 Luxury Rental. There is a unique art collection created especially for the tower and available exclu¬sively there. The authors are well-established Pol¬ish artists – Dorota Buczkowska, Mikołaj Moskal and Jakub Woynarowski.
The art pieces depict the theme of sky, the city skyline and brave abstract forms. Each piece con¬tributes to the unique style and atmosphere of individual apartments. The interiors have been designed to create harmony with the paintings, drawings and collages and an apartment itself is a combination of design, art and architecture. Anna Theiss added: “Ways of living are evolving and with them the attitude towards ownership. Possess¬ing things is no longer as important as it was years ago.” As James Wallman, author of a highly influen¬tial book “Stuffocation: Living More With Less” put it, “It has been proven that spending money on experi¬ences rather than on things simply makes people happier.”
People are looking for thought-provoking stim¬uli and indelible impressions rather than tangible goods, and they are willing to pay for these experi¬ences. “You can see it by looking at the clients of No. 44 Luxury Rental – they are connoisseurs of beauty and unconventional luxuries which they want to enjoy wherever they are,” said Theiss.
Even though art branding, i.e. linking the brand with art, is still a new concept on the Polish market, it has been popular around the world for a while, especially in hotels. One example is Damien Hirst’s artwork in the reception of Soho House Berlin. Anna Theiss explained: “We understand art branding as, first of all, the communication with the market based on the language that art offers (i.e. the art of history, culture and design) in order to build a long-term relationship with an esthetically sensitive cli¬ent who makes purchases based on very high cri¬teria.”
There is no denying the fact that a peaceful exist¬ence outside the city, which in the past seemed to compensate for a considerable distance from enter¬tainment and culture, as well as time-consuming commutes, is losing its luster. After all, what could possibly compete with living among the clouds, sur¬rounded by lavish interiors and art on every wall?