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Wytypuj najlepszy projekt w 11. edycji konkursu „Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”
Głosowanie na najlepszy projekt dyplomowy w 11. edycji konkursu „Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”

Agnieszka Witkowska - "Poland for Poland"

03 of November '21
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2020
Author: Agnieszka Witkowska

Dr. Jan Sikora, professor of the Academy of Fine Arts

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

Poland for Poland is a project of mutual cooperation between two Poles - our European one and the village of Poland on the island of Kiritimati, which belongs to the country of Kiribati, located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. It is a juxtaposition of two cultures, two latitudes and two different ways of life. The goal is to find a cultural bridge between spaces where the inhabitants' perceptions of the world, lifestyles, values, and customs are extremely different, yet surprisingly similar. The result is solutions that will improve the quality of life in both locations, an attempt to learn from the life wisdom of Kiribatians, and to share our technological knowledge.

lokalizacje obu Polsk wyspa Kiritimati

Left: locations of both Polskas; right: Kiritimati Island

© Agnieszka Witkowska

Kiribati is one of the most remote places in the world from Poland, and a trip there is a trip into the future, as we have to cross the date change line. It is there that each day the sun rises first in the world. The people of Poland have adopted the national colors of our red and white flag enchanted by their symbolism, and school children are taught in classes named after Polish cities Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. There is also St. Stanislaus Church. The people of Kiribati are struggling with numerous problems. According to many forecasts, their country will disappear under the surface of the water in the next fifty years. They are being inundated not only by water, but also by plastic coming in from all over the world.

The projekt is to help solve the island`s problemsprojekt is to help solve the island`s problemsprojekt is to help solve the island`s problems

project is to help solve the island's problems

© Agnieszka Witkowska

The project is formed by a series of modular objects, which are an attempt to solve current problems. Each can function independently or in configuration with others. Built from local, readily available and inexpensive materials (coconut palm parts and plastic trash were used), they fit into the cultural landscape and traditions.

The fragmenty palms and plastic serve as the building blocks of new constructionsfragmenty palms and plastic serve as the building blocks of new constructionsfragmenty palms and plastic serve as the building blocks of new constructions

fragments of palm trees and plastic are to serve as building blocks of new structures

© Agnieszka Witkowska

The most important module is the recycling center, where people will melt plastic into construction materials for building all other forms. In response to the problem of access to drinking water and fruits and vegetables, modules with the following functions were designed: a rainwater tank and hydroponics. In the course of considering the modules and their functionality, Kiribati residents saw their home in the design.

The moduł housemoduł housemoduł house

house module

© Agnieszka Witkowska

It turned out that in order to live in the facility, it must have a pleasant sleeping surface, a canopy to protect from the sun and space for everyday items. This module meets all these criteria. In addition, it is founded on stilts, which, in the opinion of residents, proves its luxury. The residents asked for a leisure module, which is a slight modification of the residential one - the lower part used for storing items has been transformed into a hammock, from which you can watch the encroaching water with the feeling that you are above the problem. The individual modules can be combined to create a large space that can act as a communal manaeba, accessible to all, regardless of religion.


manaeba, or meeting place

© Agnieszka Witkowska

Consultations are taking place through a Facebook group of more than five hundred Kiribati people interested in the project. The concept has been presented at the local Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Kiribati Institute of Technology and Youth Ministry and has been well received. The project is being supported on the legal side by the law firm JWP Patent & Trademark Attorneys, and the Poland helps Poland foundation has assumed honorary patronage. The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Saving Kiribati Movement. You can follow the development of the project by joining the Poland for Poland group.

During my numerous conversations and contacts with Kiribatians, I was captivated by their lifestyle - smile, carpe diem, directness. My experience in Kiribati sensitized me to a certain contemporary problem that the whole world is facing and resulted in a project whose hero is a tree.

drzewo PUNCH MEdrzewo PUNCH MEdrzewo PUNCH ME


© Agnieszka Witkowska

Let's imagine that we are on our favorite Polish beach, relaxing, enjoying the weather, forgetting about our duties and worries... And suddenly a tree with a sign "PUNCH ME" swims up to us. What do we feel? What do we think? What do we do? Does it cause any reflection in us? Or do we succumb to the message without a second thought, walk up and hit it? There were a few people who went for it - no one succeeded. The structure that houses the PUNCH ME tree is designed in such a way that it cannot be done. The message of this part of the project, a gift to our Poland, is the idea that in trying to harm nature, we are actually doing harm to ourselves. The earth existed, exists and will exist. Alternatively, it is we humans who will become extinct.

upadek from the PUNCH ME treeupadek from the PUNCH ME treeupadek from the PUNCH ME tree

fall from the tree PUNCH ME

© Agnieszka Witkowska

This project is a journey into the depths of another civilization, but most importantly into the depths of yourself. A great proof that one can be so close while being so far away. Kiribati is my life, I dream to live there, to bring help. This project did not end on the day of defense. It is an adventure that is just beginning. For in understanding the culture and architecture of cultural spaces, it is not the scale that is most important, but the proximity. Proximity to another human being, to authentic emotions and to important problems in the world.

Poland for PolandPoland for PolandPoland for Poland

Poland for Poland

© Agnieszka Witkowska


Illustrations: © Author

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