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"Wake up Mariensztat". Building proposal for Warsaw University designed by Kurylowicz & Associates.

16 of April '21
Technical data
Name: Social Sciences Building for Warsaw University (competition concept).
Location: Poland, Warsaw
Studio: Kuryłowicz & Associates Sp. z o.o.

Prof. Ewa Kuryłowicz, PhD, Piotr Kuczyński, Maria Saloni-Sadowska, Katarzyna Flasińska-Rubik, Aleksander Krauze, Paulina Kalska, Marcin Kitala, Paweł Nowak, Tomasz Pniewski, Piotr Prokopowicz, Marcin Szubski

Industry cooperation:

KiP, Roger Preston Poland, Urbandesign, The Digital Bunch


  • buildings
  • total
  • usable

3 165 m²
16 591 m²
7 602 m²

On March 12 this year we learned the results of the competition for the design of a new research and teaching building at the University of Warsaw on Furmańska Street. The jury, chaired by Marta Sękulska-Wrońska, awarded the second prize to the proposal by the Kuryłowicz & Associates studio (1st place went to the project by Piotr Bujnowski - Architekt), which, according to the authors' assumptions, was to introduce academic life to the part of the city covered by the competition, and thus "awaken" the entire Mariensztat.

The functional, flexible and environmentally friendly social science building proposed by the Kurylowicz & Associates studio team was to be located in the quarter of Furmanska, Karowa and Dobra streets, on the university's Powiśle Campus.

widok budynku od
strony ulicy Dobrej

View of the building from Dobra Street

© Kurylowicz & Associates

The prelude to our conceptual work was an in-depth and meticulous analysis of potential users along with their needs and goals. Based on this information, we developed an innovative, multi-stage cycle of the building's functioning at different scales and dimensions," explains Prof. Ewa Kuryłowicz of the design process.

Through a well-thought-out social program and relations with the urban fabric, the building would, according to the designers, complement the site's context and become another stop on the route from the Old Town through Powiśle, the Royal Route to the Vistula Boulevards. The proposed U-shaped building would recreate the historic building line from Karowa Street, marking the corner with Dobra Street. Part of the elevation on the side of Dobra Street has been moved deeper into the plot, which allowed to expose the greenery and leave the existing rows of trees. On the other hand, on the Furmańska Street side, the architects did not build up the frontage, but proposed creating a green patio and a free-standing block, which, as Maria Saloni-Sadowska, co-author of the project, says, refers to the unique balance of urban accents.

kształtowanie bryły

shaping the massing

© Kurylowicz & Associates

The short elevations of the open quarters are preceded by freestanding buildings, creating a rhythm that reveals a new perspective to users with each step, the architect adds.

In the corner on the side of Dobra Street, in what the designers called the heart of the building, and in the section on Karowa Street, service spaces accessible from the outside and from the inner lobby have been located for both building users and visitors. Inside, the designers planned a flexible functional layout allowing modifications according to the needs.

podział funkcjonalny

functional division of the block

© Kurylowicz & Associates

The architects decided to preserve and use the existing tree stand in the design. Wanting to create a garden full of greenery, the designers also planned to introduce solitary shrubs on the plot, and green roofs with flower meadows on individual parts of the building.

The mature and well-formed trees have an impact not only on the surrounding area, but also on the building itself, shading part of the facades. Thanks to this design approach, we significantly reduce the possibility of heating the building, while maintaining the natural microclimate of the surroundings," explains Aleksander Krauze, Senior Architect at Kurylowicz & Associates.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the architects opted for reinforced concrete technology for only the columns and main beams that form the building's grid, with the remaining structure planned inCLT technology supported by wooden beams, and the construction of the entire top floor in wooden technology.

rozwiązania w budynku

ecological solutions in the building

© Kurylowicz & Associates

A wonderful property of wood is that it stores carbon dioxide within itself. For every ton of traditional building materials that wood replaces, we actually capture more than two tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Wood is not only environmentally friendly, but also practical due to its low weight compared to concrete, which in practice translates into a reduction of logistics processes on the construction site to about 50 percent, adds Tomasz Pniewski, Analyst Architect at Kurylowicz & Associates.

compiled by:
Ola Kloc

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