“To us, as designers, the client’s brief for the redevelopment of the former Libertatea furniture factory represented a bold and far-sighted initiative to restore the decaying buildings and create a modern and attractive environment for new businesses…an initiative that would act as a benchmark and catalyst for future development and environmental improvements within the surrounding locality.The challenge was to recognise and restore the character and fabric of five retained buildings and allow them to create a framework for new offices…an integrated ensemble that would speak of the history of Cluj as well as embodying the city’s vision of its developing role as a primary location for new technological companies. Our central principle was to create a parkland setting for sleek and efficient office pavilions, contained and framed by the restored historic buildings that celebrate the city’s industrial heritage.

So, for the retained buildings that would form the initial stages of Liberty and set the scene for the full development, our intention was to respect their qualities and robust structures, to enhance character of their brick facades, and to exploit the tension between the existing fabric and the intervention of new components and materials that would give the buildings a fresh lease of life. In order to suit the new companies that will occupy these buildings our design proposals produce generous open floor space that is well-equipped with all the facilities that modern businesses require. The buildings enjoy high levels of natural light during the day and of artificial light during the hours of darkness, together with high standards of heating, cooling and ventilation. The quality of the internal environment is, therefore, guaranteed but the additional bonus is the broad outlook onto the landscaped surroundings of this group of buildings.


The site as a whole is designed to produce a comfortable and attractive external environment … a park that will mature to provide a relaxing and refreshing setting for both the historic and the new buildings. The new office pavilions are designed to contrast with and complement the retained brick buildings. Long and low in profile with large open floor-plates, they are laid out in the centre of the site, on planning grids that relate to the streets and buildings to the front and the rear of the development. Their stylish glass facades reflect the natural landscape around them so that the buildings appear to float within their setting the natural forms of the plants, shrubs and trees reflected in a lazily-curved lake that separates the two groups of buildings.The overall image is of energetic new businesses exploiting the potential of new technologies within an efficient but relaxed environment, enjoying the contrasts between new and old, between modern materials and a natural landscape a stimulant for the local area and the city.”

Anthony Willats, Country Director, Chapman Taylor Romania