Building as block of Mariensztat
A city block typical for Mariensztat neighbourhood is characterised by a specific spatial structure. The interior elements with urban functions, like squares, and recreational areas, like greenery, are surrounded by the peripheral buildings.
The architectural and urban planning concept of the object on Bednarska Street interprets the order already present in Mariensztat and translates it into a new building. The designed development will become the next block of Mariensztat, offering a new type of public interior. The quadrilateral wreath of the classrooms located around the perimeter, marks an interior space of more loose relations and encompassing mixed common activities.
Interior as multi-level agora
The main internal space of the building is shaped as a multi-level agora. The floors above the ground floor house intermingling study and work zones: rooms, „nests”, „cavities”, arranged partly as glass boxes and partly as open forms. This variety among learning and resting environments has been introduced to create a homely, friendly atmosphere that will make working and social contacts easier. The space is organized around internal atriums that visually integrate all levels and boost natural light throughout the whole interior. The ground floor contains general and public functions: hall, reading room, auditoriums, services, laboratory, television and radio studios. On the southern side, the main space of the ground floor opens up through a glass reading room to the view of the heritage building of the former Baths.
Relation to heritage Baths
The neighbourhood of the heritage former Baths – a place of great architectural value – adds up to the potential of creating a unique public space between the Baths and the new building. It forms a pocket parallel to the popular pedestrian route of Bednarska Street connecting Krakowskie Przedmieście with the new passage under the Wisłostrada route, and with the Vistula Boulevards. For that reason, the square located on the Baths’ side is treated as an important element of the composition and the second entrance zone to the academic facility. To emphasize its significance even more, the heart of the building with the main public areas, is placed in the southern part, just between the two designed squares (i.e. between the passage on the extension of Mariensztat Street and the courtyard on the Baths’ side).
Passage as central element of composition
The passage on the extension of Mariensztat Street represents a central compositional element. It serves as a pedestrian zone, a public passage to Wisłostrada route and, at the same time, a courtyard connecting public spaces of the building. Its atmosphere is created by the presence of services, greenery, summer gardens, as well as specifically developed flooring, street furniture, stylish lanterns. Covering the passage is a glass roof, so that it is possible to use it regardless of the weather. This arrangement makes the passage function as a kind of an outdoor lounge that leads to the entrance of the building and integrates its both parts on the ground floor.
Fusing with greenery
An important aspect of the project is the integration of the building with freely accessible greenery. The roof of the building is covered with greenery and available to the building’s users. On the side of Wisłostrada route, the architects have suggested a field garden and a pergola with an open ground floor and a winter garden upstairs. The winter garden is designed as a closed cubature and can serve as an additional learning zone, located in the orangery filled with plants. Visually, the facility also creates a frontage on the side of the Vistula River, and in the future, when the Wisłostrada route is covered, it will become a kind of a buffer connecting the place with the Vistula Boulevard.