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"Under the cap". Award-winning children's hospice project in Szczecin

07 of August '23
w skrócie
  1. Under the Cap is a children's hospice in Szczecin, designed by Nina Miloslawska from Wroclaw University of Technology, for which she received an honorable mention in the Buildner platform competition.
  2. The design was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and its wooden structure by the hat of the tin mushroom.
  3. The hospice is divided into zones - entrance, dining, and group play - and connects the interior to the outdoors through large glazing.
  4. The designer minimized interference with the surroundings through a simple and compact block with rhythms on the facade, mimicking the layout of nearby trees.
  5. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal

A {tag:studenci} from the Faculty of Architecture at Wrocław University of Technology, inspired by the construction of the hat of the tin mushroom and the book „Alice in Wonderland,” designed a children's hospice in Szczecin. Her project Under the cap received an honorable mention in the international competition Children's HospiceHome for the Terminally ill Buildner platform.

The challenge of the competition was to present a concept for a children's hospice. The organizers were looking for examples, architecture that is a tool to help people and bring solace. However, the location was not specified—participants were asked to choose a site for the project from their country of origin.

Hospicjum dla dzieci w Szczecinie znajduje się na zalesionej działce

A children's hospice in Szczecin is located on a wooded lot

© Nina Miłosławska

honorable mention for projects from PWr

We wrote about the detailed guidelines, the composition of the jury and the results in an article about Anna Stawiska's honorable mention project, Tree Houses.

Nina Miłosławska's proposal was also included in the list of six awarded works. Read about her project Under the cap which is also the subject of her master's thesis, currently still under development under the supervision of Dr. Mark Lamber. As the site of the project, the student proposed a wooded plot between the Forest Park „Zdroje” and the Children's Hospital „Zdroje” in Szczecin.

Hospicjum dla dzieci w Szczecinie, lokalizacja

Children's hospice in Szczecin, location

© Nina Miłoslawska

The aim of the subject is to create a healthcare facility where patients in the terminal stage of an incurable disease will be able to find support to alleviate physical, mental, social and spiritual suffering. The main idea behind my project is to treat architecture as a tool to improve the quality of life of patients and their families during the extremely difficult struggle with a progressive disease and ultimately the passing of a loved one," says Nina Miłosławska.

Do konstrukcji autorka użyła ramy drewniane

For the construction, the author used wooden frames

© Nina Miłosławska

construction like a mushroom hat

The thought behind the design work, was to create a place that gives a sense of security, and thus encourages users to visit. To achieve this, the author decided to use means that would stimulate children's imagination and curiosity. She decided to refer to the world of fairy tales, looking for a common denominator with the natural world surrounding the building.

Hospicjum dla dzieci w Szczecinie, aksonometria

Children's hospice in Szczecin, axonometry

© Nina Miłosławska

During my search, I recalled many well-known stories including, among others, „Alice in Wonderland.” My particular attention was drawn to a scene with a caterpillar perched on a mushroom's hat. The blade fungus being extremely interesting in terms of structure became the inspiration for the structural layout of the building, consisting of four „stems”. „I connected the "hats” analogously to the growth of the plant cell wall by means of interconnecting branches," the author says of the project.

In addition to the functional function, the proposed structural layout influences aesthetics, and with the use of wood frames and CLT wood, it creates cozy interiors. The open plan ensures smooth and free communication, and prevents a sense of isolation from the rest of the users.

Strefa zabaw w projektowanym hospicjum

The play zone in the designed hospice

© Nina Miłosławska

The space has been visually divided into zones; these are the entrance area, dining area, play area and group activity area. In the „core”, the designer placed rooms that need to be permanently separated because of the need to provide privacy or regulate access.

Hospicjum dla dzieci w Szczecinie, rzut parteru

Children's hospice in Szczecin, first floor plan

© Nina Miłosławska

surrounded by nature

The chosen site in Szczecin is undeveloped and covered with unorganized greenery. According to the author, there are plans to expand the hospital located there in the future, whose buildings are characterized by modest architecture, devoid of detail. In order not to interfere with the surroundings, the student proposed a simple and compact block. On the facade she placed vertical wooden elements, continuing the „blades” of the structure. Their vertical arrangement mimics the branches of nearby trees.

Strefa recepcji z widokiem na otoczenie

reception area with a view of the surroundings

© Nina Miłosławska

Wanting to avoid the impression of a heavy, monolithic block, Nina Miłosławska introduced glazing over a large area, allowing plenty of natural light into the interiors.

I blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, letting nature inside. The building coexists with the existing natural world, without dominating the surroundings," the author concludes.

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