Zlote Tarasy designed by world renowned architect Jon Jerde’s The Jerde Partnership.

Zlote Tarasy in Warsaw, Poland is a mixed-use project designed by world renowned architect Jon Jerde’s Venice, California based international architecture and urban planning firm The Jerde Partnership for ING Real Estate and Rodamco Europe. Having never fully recovered from World War II destruction, Warsaw has a disconnected urban core marked by the soaring Palace of Culture and Science and large, lifeless voids. So ING Real Estate asked The Jerde Partnership to create a mixed-use project that would bring life back to the city center.

Inspired by the historic parks that were saved from wartime destruction, Jerde organized Zlote Tarasy around an ensemble of terraces and a central plaza with an undulating glass roof that recalls tree canopies crowning the city’s parks.

The innovative roof simulates a draping cloth to translate the natural processes of gravity, wind and water into a complex, yet elegant, spatial surface above the plaza.

The terraced retail and entertainment levels rise into upper-level office towers,while culminating below in a lively park built just below-grade, making it easily accessible from the adjacent Warszawa Centralna train station and existing pedestrian tunnels.

To reconnect the urban fabric, Jerde designed Zlote Tarasy with a pedestrian network that links the train station with the historic city center, as well as additional entrances that restore the urban grid lost during the war. When it opened in February 2007, Zlote Tarasy attracted over 500,000 visitors in the first week.

2007, Warsaw, Poland
Site area: 7.8 acres
Total building area: 186,000 sq meters
Clients: ING Real Estate, Rodamco Europe
Executive architect: Epstein Sp.z.o.o.
Engineer: Arup
Landscape, water features: EDAW
Signage, environmental graphics: Sussman/Prejza & Company, Inc.
Lighting: Kaplan, Gehring, McCarroll, Architectural Lighting
Contractor: Skanska
Skylight contractor: Waagner Biro SGT

Total building area: 186,000 sq meters
Retail: 65,032 sq meters
Office – Lumen: 23,500 sq meters
Office – Skylight: 21,500 sq meters
Entertainment: 9,290 sq meters

2008 – Winner, New Developments: Large ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards
2008 – Retail Destination of the Year, World Retail Awards
2007- Commendation, Shopping Centres Catgeory, MAPIC Awards
2007 – Winner, International Shopping Center of the Year, Global RLI Awards
2006 – Winner, Retail and Leisure Category, Architectural Review/MIPIM Future Project Award
2005 – Best of Show, Plaza Retail Future Project Awards
2005 – Best Large Retail Development Scheme, Plaza Retail Future Project Awards

Jon Jerde

Born in 1940, Jon Jerde is an American architect based in Venice, California, Founder and Chairman of The Jerde Partnership. The Jerde Partnership a design architecture and urban planning firm that pioneered the concept of placemaking and “experience architecture;” and has created multiple award-winning commercial developments around the globe. Jon Jerde is a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. After early years working at Charles Kober Associates on multiple retail projects, including Plaza Pasadena, Jerde was commissioned by developer Ernie Hahn for the design of Horton Plaza, across from Horton Plaza Park in downtown San Diego. The project is credited by some with single-handedly rejuvenating the city’s downtown core by replacing several blocks of older structures with a new retail village concept. The design was a radical departure from traditional suburban mall design of the time.

It is a five story outdoor retail complex, with the main passage being diagonally oriented to the street grid and at the time anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s, and a Sam Goody music store; and connected to a Westin Hotel and the Balboa Theatre, resulting in an urban mixed-use center. Its spatial rhythms include long one-way ramps and sudden drop-offs, dramatic parapets, shadowy colonnades and cul-de-sacs, and the design shattered many traditional mall-design rules such as lowering ambient arousal levels and protecting the maximal lines-of-sight to merchandise. Its fragmented spaces look and feel more like a postmodern art project than a traditional mall, and its festive colors were a contrast to the ubiquitous beige store architecture of the period. The project was completed in 1985.

Despite the unique and non-traditional retail design approach, Horton Plaza’s radical design brought 25 million visitors in the first year, and as of 2004 continued to generate San Diego’s highest sales per unit area. The project also sparked nearly $2.4 billion in redevelopment to the surrounding area and downtown core. Westfield currently owns Horton Plaza and is in the process of developing a series of expansions. The Jerde Partnership developed its placemaking and experiential philosophy with the design and planning of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, which became the only profitable Olympics to date. Based on the success of both Horton (from a retailing perspective), and the Olympics (from a placemaking concept), the firm continued to evolve is creative expertise in creating retail and entertainment destinations, designing the redevelopment of Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA in 1989; the hugely successful $680M Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1992, the original Urban Entertainment Center Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles; the pirate show and facade of the Treasure Island Casino in Vegas in 1993; the Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience in 1995; and Bellagio in Las Vegas in 1998.


The Jerde Partnership is a visionary architecture and urban planning firm that designs unique places that people love to visit and go back to time and again. Nearly one billion people visit Jerde Places every year. Located around the globe, Jerde Places are iconic, go to destinations that pulse with life through a carefully orchestrated procession of public spaces, shops, parks, restaurants, entertainment, housing and nature. They transform the economic and social landscape of neighborhoods, cities and regions and deliver astounding results across the board – economic success and recognition for developers, businesses and cities and amazing experiences for the people who work, eat, stay, shop, play, wander and live there.

More than 100 Jerde Places are open in cities around the world

Jerde Places cross continents, leaving positive imprints in cities including Budapest, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Osaka, Rotterdam, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Istanbul, Warsaw and Dubai. The firm’s global journey began in 1977, when founder Jon Jerde, FAIA, broke from conventional architects who focus on advancing architectural forms to pioneer the creation of memorable places where people can gather and experience a sense of community. That singular founding vision of Jerde Placemaking continues to inform the firms work today, propelled by the passion of its leadership team and over 100 dedicated staff members from all over the world. Over the last 34 years, The Jerde Partnership has grown into a multi-disciplinary, international design studio headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Berlin.

Approximately one quarter of Jerde’s designers were born outside of the United States in diverse places such as El Salvador, Canada, China, Croatia, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and more. Jerde’s design talent possesses individual and collective passions about what they do, working closely together to bring a diversity of cultural backgrounds and ideas to continually evolve the global application of Jerde Placemaking. The firms expertise has expanded beyond its retail and entertainment roots to include hotels, casinos and resorts; residential complexes; office and commercial facilities; transit-oriented mixed-use hubs; major urban districts; waterfronts; town centers; community plans; and visionary master plans. The firm partners with clients to conceptualize big ideas for each venue that will become a powerful economic and social engine.