The Alfa Department Store Complex consists of five 12-storey high-rise buildings connected by a podium, built in 1965-1972 in Poznań at Saint Marcin Street (then Czerwona Army) on the site of tenement houses destroyed during World War II. The complex was designed by Jerzy Liśniewicz. The reason for the construction of Alpha in the place of old tenements was to give this part of the city center a larger urban character, in the opinion of the city planners at the time.
Reconstruction of the first tower - completed in May 2018 - included adaptation of the building to the new hotel function and replacing the facade. In the tower part, in which offices were originally located, there are currently 109 hotel rooms. The podium, which serves as a commercial and service facility, includes a hotel lobby, restaurant, conference part and hotel facilities, as well as service premises. Both parts of the building that have been operating so far have been connected by a common staircase and elevator shaft.
One of the main assumptions of the reconstruction was the replacement and maintenance of the building facade. The urban layout of Alfa Department Stores is protected. In the aspect of maintaining the original appearance of the facade, work on the project required the selection of solutions that reflect the original spatial concept and meet the requirements of modern hotel facilities.
The façade before renovation was mainly made of materials used during the erection of the building in the 1960s. Due to the technical condition of the facade, it was decided to completely disassemble and restore it according to the original design assumptions, maintaining proportions, divisions and materials. A serious problem in modernizing this type of buildings is the loss of their proportions and blurring the lightness by using modern solutions. This applies mainly to thermo-modernization, but also facades system and original cladding. In the podium part, the original openwork buildings made of ceramic fittings have been preserved, which is an element that clearly distinguishes this frontage building segment along Saint Marcin Street from the others.
During the reconstruction, the building structure was exposed and secured. One of its main elements are thick-ribbed ceilings made of thin-walled concrete blocks, whose spacing determined the distribution of new installation risers. A three-story staircase with an interesting, filigree, reinforced concrete structure has also been preserved. During the demolition works, original cladding of the columns in the podium part was also discovered, which can be restored now to be seen inside the conference part and the lobby bar.