Holiday Homes: We go to Warsaw to find out about the property market in Poland and visit the highest penthouse in Europe

 
Keith Perry

The sweeping shape of Daniel Libeskind’s Zlota 44 glass skyscraper in Warsaw evokes an eagle in flight, or – as the locals would have it – a sail. Those images of freedom are no accident; the locally-born architect was a child of Holocaust survivors determined to bring a new feeling of liberation to a city torn apart by war.

So when the Polish-American architect was invited to design a new tower for the city of Chopin, Libeskind grasped the opportunity because it was the first project in his homeland since he left in the 50s.

“Zlota 44 is a very personal project for me. I left Poland at a young age to escape the oppression of communism, but the spirit and culture of my home country has never left me,” says Libeskind. “I have since seen the incredible rebirth of the country and the energy of Warsaw emerge.”

Now Europe’s tallest residential tower at 192m, Zlota 44 is also symbolic of Poland’s soaring economy. It’s currently the sixth largest in Europe and emerged from the recession in 2008 virtually unscathed.

Sitting atop the 52 storey tower within the iconic peak, the vast 6,332sqft triplex penthouse is the highest apartment in the EU, as well as one of the largest. With luxury interiors by design house Woods Bagot, the super penthouse is on the market for offers in excess of €10m. A London-based investor is said to be among three potential purchasers.

Accessed via a lift (reaching the 52nd floor from the ground floor in 35 seconds), the apartment is entered via a grand entrance hall. The 53rd floor provides a spacious mezzanine, complete with sitting area, but the real gem is the guest bedroom on the 54th floor, a haven for stargazers at over 600ft high, housed in the glass peak of Zlota 44. Needless to say, the room enjoys spectacular vistas across the city, the Palace of Culture and Science and Vistula River.


The view from penthouse of the Palace of Culture and Science

Warsaw itself is now proving more of a magnet for the crucial luxury segment of the market than Berlin. In November 2016, Savills ranked Warsaw fifth on its hit-list of cities for expanding international retail brands – the only entry from central Europe.

Soon the city’s Soviet-built Palace of Culture and Science will be overlooked by half a dozen glass skyscrapers in a dramatic architectural overhaul of the city.

Over the river in the historic working-class and once neglected Praga district, where scenes from The Pianist were filmed, there is further large scale regeneration underway.

Other projects include the rebuilding of the Koneser vodka factory, now home to Campus Warsaw, one of six Google-owned entrepreneur hubs worldwide, and a multimedia Polish Vodka Museum, presenting the 600 year long history of distilling vodka in Poland.

Read more: If you could invest in any city in the world, which one would you pick?

The Polish economy has also been boosted by the building of a new port in Gdansk, the easing of electricity tariffs and the provision of new public-sector infrastructure projects supported by an €82.3bn EU Cohesion Fund.

“Currently, we’re seeing an average rental yield of 7.5 per cent for high-quality apartments in Warsaw as the city continues to flourish,” says Charles Weston Baker, director at Savills International, “making this a very intriguing investment for international property investors.”

One-bedroom apartments at Zlota 44 start at £242,000. Visit zlotta44.com/en

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