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At the Crossroads. The project of students of the Cracow University of Technology in the finals of the competition

Dobrawa Bies
05 of March '21

The Iceland Cave Tower Competition, organized by the Bee Breeders platform, is full of successful Polish teams. This time we present At the crossroads, a project by Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak and Maria Zimnoch from the Cracow University of Technology. The cafe and tower, made using CLT board technology, made it to the finals of the competition.

The subject of the competition was the design of an observation point and a small tourist center in Iceland's famous Vogagjá area. The area is known for its caves that are natural baths heated by the nearby Hverfjall volcano. Additional tourist attractions include its location at the junction of the continental plates of Europe and America and its picturesque and fragile nature.

PK team in the finals

The project At the corssroads by Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak and Maria Zimnoch from the Cracow University of Technology made it to the finals of the competition. The building proposed by the students is located at the intersection of the main pedestrian paths and serves as a kind of signpost guiding visitors towards the Grjótagjá caves. The authors, to emphasize the unusual location - the junction of two continental plates, designed an object consisting of two simple forms.

Schematy projektowe
wieży

The authors proposed an object consisting of two simple forms

© Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak, Maria Zimnoch

observation tower

The proposed blocks have twin proportions, but differ in function and materials used - the vertical one serves as an observation tower, and its interior is inspired by the surrounding caves. Moving upward is meant to bring to mind wandering through a rock tunnel. Instead of a traditional staircase, the authors used a system of modular platforms spiraling upward, illuminated by a beam of light coming through a skylight placed at the top of the tower. The platforms form steps and mark observation points, along with windows framing views of the surrounding countryside. Located at the top, the main viewing platform circles the walls of the tower around, allowing visitors to observe Icelandic nature unobstructed.

Model budynku At the
crossroads

An extension of the building are trekking paths

© Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak, Maria Zimnoch

information desk and cafe

The horizontal lump serves as an information point and café. The green roof and stone facade refer to traditional Icelandic architecture. The café's panoramic windows are directed at the nearby Hverfjall volcano. Offices and staff facilities are also located in this part of the complex.

Przekrój obiektu At
the crossroads

The horizontal block is a café and information desk

© Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak, Maria Zimnoch

modular platforms

An extension of the building's interior are trekking paths. As in the tower, wooden modular platforms were used here, easy to arrange in the form of paths, ramps and stairs on uneven, rocky terrain. Lightweight openwork balustrades blur into the landscape without disrupting its continuity. Directly above the junction of the tectonic plates, the authors designed a glass bridge where visitors can "hang" over the gap between the plates.

Aksonometria założenia At the crossroads Widok z wieży

Both the tower and the café were designed using CLT slab technology

© Piotr Dziewierz, Filip Sierak, Maria Zimnoch

Both the tower and the café were designed with CLT slab technology. This material is easy to install and has good thermal insulation, important in the Icelandic climate. The use of the board also contributes to the warm and welcoming visual character of the interior, encouraging tourists to relax.

Other teams from Poland also took part in the Iceland Cave Tower Competition : the project The Moving Surfaces by UAP students was awarded first prize and the student prize, and Hósemi by FALA Architektura was awarded third place.

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