La Scala occupies a narrow parcel at 1 Madalińskiego St. in Warsaw. It is surrounded by three apartment buildings and its construction completed the street frontage on Madalińskiego St., filling the block which had been densely built up before World War II. While the local zoning plan allowed for a larger structure to be built, the building’s size was reduced in light of the challenging construction site and the need to provide residents with a comfortable living environment. This was accomplished through the use of recessed balconies and entryways and shifting the external walls away from neighboring buildings. The building’s entry area is highlighted by a double-height arcade which provides a covered main entrance. The arcade’s dimensions were also determined by the presence of a two-directional entry to the external vehicle elevator. The elevator leads to a two-level underground garage and, in its default position, is entirely concealed in the ground.
The building’s shape was largely determined by its intended functionality but also reflects other considerations such as fire safety regulations and the desire to provide residents with privacy and ample sunlight in a densely built-up urban environment.
The dimensions of the building’s square-shaped window openings gradually change. They become progressively larger toward the building’s entryway side and the terraces on the south elevation while decreasing in size on elevations facing neighboring buildings. This approach provides proper sunlight and privacy. Additionally, semitransparent glass walls are used on portions of the building’s windowless external walls, providing increased light exposure.
In order to provide more sunlight to the street block’s internal area, the building’s elevations are clad with variably textured light-colored ceramic tiles designed to reflect sunlight. The tiles’ dimensions were designed to perfectly fit the building’s shape while highlighting its modular architecture. The cladding tiles also function as a subtle reference to the rectangular divisions featured on the facade of the historic Juliusz Żórawski-designed Wedel House located across Madalińskiego street,
La Scala’s was built and designed to respect the natural environment. The building’s rear portion opens onto a green courtyard with numerous preserved mature trees which provide shade during the summer season and protect the elevation from the heat.