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Anna Kolasa - "At the interface of the city and the port. Revitalization of the Fishing Pier with adaptation of Gdynia's fish coolers".

19 of April '22
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Author: Anna Kolasa
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Gdańskiej

Dr. Anna Orchowska-Smolinska

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

The former fish coolers, like the entire Fisherman's Pier (including the cap and the buildings of the former smokehouses), are a living record of the fishing industry in Gdynia, which no longer exists on such a scale. With the successive liquidation of other important elements that make up the unique identity of the place, the history and atmosphere of the post-port part of the city will disappear forever. Through the peculiarity of their architecture and spatial layout, the cold storage facilities are objects to which it is difficult to assign any other use, while at the same time the unusual function and specific solutions constitute the uniqueness of these buildings.

aksonometria, 1935 rok aksonometria, 2021 rok

left: axonometry, 1935; right: axonometry, 2021

© Anna Kolasa

What sets the Fisherman's Pier apart from the rest of the city is its location at the interface of water and land, both physically and culturally. Taking up the subject of adapting the former fish cooler complex, it became clear very quickly that designing without context would not have the intended effect. Only the revaluation of the entire Fisherman's Pier is capable of positively influencing the potential of the historic buildings there. One of the fundamental design goals was to give it functions relating to the history of the place, to open up the Pier, to make the pier public and give it back to the residents.

propozycja projektowa schemat funkcji

Left: design proposal; right: function scheme

© Anna Kolasa

Referring to the axis set in 1926 by Adam Kuncewicz and Roman Felinski, although it was never realized, I decided to continue the idea of a "commercial and representative avenue" ending with a plaza. This is an interpretation of the historical premise, which was never built. On the axis of Fisherman's Pier, the project envisages a park-plaza, forming the foreground of the cold storage buildings, a bustling food hall, a car and bicycle parking lot with a green public roof, a hotel and a recreational park space at the tip of the pier. On either side will be residential buildings with ground-floor services, and there will also be an opportunity to go around the perimeter of the Pier.

elewacja southelewacja southelewacja south

south elevation

© Anna Kolasa

An important issue in the Fisherman's Pier revitalization project is the restoration of the defunct Kashubian Wharf. The cold storage complex will be adapted for an educational and cultural function, while the buildings on Herring Street will house a public academic sports center. The reconstructed Kashubian Wharf will house a student marina. With a common "water surface", the two building complexes (cold storage and smokehouses) will form a unity.

przekrój A-Aprzekrój A-Aprzekrój A-A

cross-section A-A

© Anna Kolasa

The site of the former cold storages will be used for the Gdynia Academy of Architecture (including shipbuilding), the Museum of Gdynia Modernism and a public library. In order to preserve the existing structure of the buildings and introduce a new function, the complex of former fish coolers has been enriched with three new buildings. Due to the plate-and-column system (with mushroom ceilings - a cross-reinforced slab structure resting directly on columns with specially shaped heads), which is characteristic of cold storage facilities, some types of spaces planned for the new utility program were excluded.

przekrój Chłodni śledziowej wnętrze Chłodni śledziowej

Left: cross-section of the Herring Refrigeration Room; right: interior of the Herring Refrigeration Room

© Anna Kolasa

The new buildings fit into the negative space between the former cold storage complex. Each of them refers to the location in a different way. The cube located above the former Cold Storage Plant No. 1 is an extension of the public function that runs through the entirety of the former cold storage facility. A large auditorium with a sweeping view toward the city and the water (Kashubian Wharf) has been introduced there. The element separating the auditorium from the entrance area is a "slice" of the transatlantic ship's side. It symbolizes the city's connection to the sea and is a reference to the history of Gdynia.

przekrój Chłodni nr 1 wnętrze, transatlantyk

left: cross-section of Cold Storage Room No. 1; right: interior, transatlantic ship

© Anna Kolasa

The new building above the "accompanying" facilities is fully dedicated to academic functions. The top floors are characterized by an enclosed facade to focus on the light coming into the building through holes in the ceiling, where there is a laboratory of light in architecture. The third volume is symbolically suspended above the oldest building - the historic cold storage building. It does not act as an extension, but as a completely new element accessible from the outside. The main idea of this building is communication and its connection to the water. The entrance to the outdoor staircase is on the water side, each successive stop - a rest stop - is a point of observation of the waterfront. In the building, the path continues with a ramp located around the perimeter of the building, which leads to the observation point, the only water-facing "window" in the north elevation.

idea of intervention conceptidea of intervention conceptidea of intervention concept

idea of the intervention concept

© Anna Kolasa


Illustrations: © Author

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