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Athenaeum of Architecture in Copenhagen. First prize for UAP female graduates!

Dobrawa Bies
28 of September '21

What is architecture? This was the question Zuzanna Kl os and Katarzyna Krawczyk asked themselves when they competed in the international Athenaeum - 2023 competition organized by Uni competitions. The task sought a new look at the Athenaeum, which was to become more than a place to learn about world architecture. UAP graduates proposed a collection of unusual spaces, which were the author's interpretation of the known and simplest forms and.... they won first prize!

The task of the international Athenaeum - 2023 competition organized by the UNI competitions platform was to design an Athenaeum of Architecture in Copenhagen that resonates and follows the developing trends of world architecture. The organizers wanted the Athenaeum in the 21st century to mean more than just a space to explore architecture. The proposed venue should connect the past, show its relationship to current architectural trends, and pave the way and initiate a dialogue on the future of design. The participants were also to include educational and leisure spaces.

Ateneum
w Kopenhadze

The designed building was to be located in Copenhagen

© Zuzanna Klos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

first prize for Poles

The competition received entries from all over the world, among which an international jury composed of: Martin Pool (Pool Leber Architekten), Shih-fu Peng (heneghan peng architects), Nathalie Rozencwajg (NAME Architecture), Cristina Verissimo (CVDB Arquitectos) selected eight winners. Two grand prizes, six honorable mentions and an additional audience prize were awarded.

Thewinner of the competition was the work entitled Atheneum of Architecture in Copenhagen by Zuzanna Klos and Katarzyna Krawczyk from the University of Arts in Poznan.

 Ateneum architektury
w Kopenhadze, wnętrza

ateneum interiors

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

what is architecture?

Before we began our analysis of what the ateneum of architecture is, we asked ourselves a more basic question - what is architecture to us? Thinking of it as a certain defined space, full of geometric gestures, created by mankind since the beginning of our existence, we have the impression that a kind of "architectural saturation" has occurred . There seems to have come a moment when restraint from building seems particularly valuable. Perhaps it is the realization of the over-saturation of materials, waste, organized space that can become the beginning for the search for a "style" of architecture in the 21st century," explain the winners.

Atheneum architektury w Kopenhadze, koncepcja

the authors wondered what a contemporary ateneum should be

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

space without function

The architects decided that their ateneum of architecture today should be more than just a space teaching about history. It should provoke looking back, but also ask questions anew about the purposes of architecture. So in their work, they focused on analyzing the basic elements and typologies of which, architecture is composed, stripping away its functions. They asked themselves some questions: what is space without function? How to define architecture without function? What are walls, stairs, roofs, windows or doors if we can't touch them, sit on them or open them?

Katalog typologii

Architects have created a catalog of typologies

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

Aspace without function is an artifact. Everything around us has a defined function. We are used to moving around and subconsciously understanding spaces with specific symbols and forms. We know that if we find ourselves in a museum, we will be greeted by a large foyer, we know that in an exhibition space we will not be blinded by a direct light source. We know that the corridor will be between two other spaces, and the auditorium will be spacious and semi-circular. Certain norms in architecture help us create functional spaces in which we know exactly how to behave. Too many impulses, signals, forms and signs, inside the space we are in, prevents us from focusing on the space itself and our relationship with it. In order to emphasize architecture itself and allow us to understand it, we decided not to create a plan of the building by its functional purpose, but by a rather abstract juxtaposition of basic typologies, the authors explain.

Wnętrza ateneum

The interior is a kind of labyrinth

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

a new look at the ateneum

Referring to Sempra's definition of architecture, which distinguishes two basic elements in architecture: mass and form, the architects created a catalog of basic geometric forms, whose compilations, deformations and combinations are basically an infinite number of new, yet duplicated forms.

It seems to us that architecture today works in a similar way - they are the same gestures repeated over and over again, in different ways," they add.

Rzut ateneum

the building is hidden underground

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

The Atheneum project was created by creating a building plan, with a simple exterior outline, sunk completely underground, but keeping the ground level - symbolically free of architecture. Inside the building is a collection of spaces, which are the author's interpretation of familiar and simplest forms. A kind of labyrinth was created, a series of rooms, with an undefined function, in which the user does not know what to expect. Each of the rooms is meant to surprise, provoke reflection and allow visitors to focus, on the space itself.

Widok ateneum

ateneum in Copenhagen

© Zuzanna Kłos, Katarzyna Krawczyk

The Ateneum's floor plan consists of two types of rooms. The main sequence of spaces that is the tour route typologically is a juxtaposition of rooms from the created catalog - form. Regardless of the exhibits on display in the Atheneum, visitors experience new relationships with spaces that are less obvious. The second type of rooms are remnants from the "cut" in the plan of the basic typologies. The shape of these rooms clearly differs from the main visitor route, but complements it.

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