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Katarzyna Lechowska with the SARP Szczecin Award! Urban farming project on Jaskółcza Island

05 of June '23

ZUT architecture graduate {tag:studenci} has an idea for the use of Jaskółcza Island in Szczecin. Her proposal is an educational center for urban farming and a catering zone in a former transformer station. The project on alternative urban farming received this year's Prof. Leszek T. Dąbrowski Award of the Szczecin SARP for the best master's thesis!

The supervisor of the awarded master's thesis was Dr. Krzysztof Bizio, Prof. ZUT.

Widok na projektowany obiekt od strony północnej

view of the designed building from the north side

© Katarzyna Lechowska

The surroundings of Jaskółcza Island are a picturesque area on the map of Szczecin, whose visual qualities are commensurate with its historical qualities, and yet they are quite underestimated. The historical layer of the chosen location, in the form of the buildings of the former Oberwiek streetcar depot, or the yeast and liquor factory of C. Lefever was the inspiration for the industrial character form adopted in the project. My key assumptions were to use the potential of the island and its integration with the existing urban grid. This integration implies creating a kind of spatial enclave evoking the impression of leaving the hustle and bustle of the city," says Katarzyna Lechowska.

Aksonometria kontekstu urbanistycznego Wyspy Jaskółczej

axonometry of the urban context of Jaskółcza Island

© Katarzyna Lechowska

educational center on Jaskółcza Island

The author believes that the use of forgotten riverside areas of Szczecin is important for its development and the search for a new center, which could be created on the model of, for example, HafenCity in Hamburg. The educational center she designed, along with a surrounding pedestrian and vehicular platform, is open to the public and was placed in the central part of the island. The architect set it on stilts so that the foundation level of the structure is level with the quay. The entire premise can also serve as an independent artificial island, in case of danger of rising water levels. Access to the facility is provided via two bridges—a historic truss bridge and a projected pedestrian-vehicle bridge.

Centrum edukacyjne okala platforma pieszo-jezdna

The educational center is surrounded by a pedestrian and roadway platform

© Katarzyna Lechowska

urban farming in Szczecin

The project consists of two buildings—an educational center of urban farming and a historic transformer station adapted to a catering function. The two buildings were connected to each other by a post and beam structure overlaid like an outer cover , overgrown with vegetation integrating them into one coherent architectural object.

Schemat powstawania bryły obiektu

scheme of formation of the object's body

© Katarzyna Lechowska

The idea behind the designed establishment is to create a space frequented by residents, which would be a place of respite, as well as a source of inspiration and encouragement to live in the spirit of sustainable development—above all, ecological awareness and the opportunities opened up by the farming clothes , says Katarzyna Lechowska.

Dwupoziomowy plac publiczny ze schodami prowadzącymi na ogólnodostępny dach

A two-story public plaza with stairs leading to a public rooftop

© Katarzyna Lechowska

In the transformer station building, the designer introduced an open consumer room located on the ground and first floors. In the central part of the building is a tall stand of vertical aeroponic cultivation, the fruits of which would be used in the kitchen.

Rzut parteru, przekrój A-A

first floor plan, cross-section A-A

© Katarzyna Lechowska

educatorium, areoponic greenhouses, aquaponic cultivation

The newly designed building included in the establishment is the urban farming education center. Its first floor is divided into three parts separated by accenting them with two-story aeroponic greenhouses. The first part is a lobby serving visitors and a place for temporary exhibitions with the possibility of opening to the boulevards integrating the interior of the building with the exterior.

Hol główny centrum z wyróżnionym kolorystycznie ciągiem komunikacyjnym

The center's main hall with a colorfully distinguished circulation path

© Katarzyna Lechowska

Another, central part of the first floor serves as an auditorium for about two hundred people and the main communication riser with sanitary facilities. The third part is accessible only to staff. It houses offices, as well as a warehouse with an aero- and aquaponic cultivation laboratory.

Sala eksponująca nowoczesne uprawy roślin - aeroponikę i aquaponikę

A room exhibiting modern plant cultivation—aeroponics and aquaponics

© Katarzyna Lechowska

The firstfloor of the educatorium is divided into two parts. The first is the exhibition zone, which includes thematically divided exhibition rooms (algae farming, insect farming, aero- and aquaponic farming, sustainable development, water recycling) and a projection room.

Hodowla pszczół oraz dzikich owadów zapylających na dachu obiektu

breeding bees and wild pollinating insects on the roof

© Katarzyna Lechowska

While the second part is a workshop-laboratory zone turning the theoretical knowledge gained from visiting the exhibition into practical knowledge. The last floor of the facility is occupied by public gardens on the roof with sanitary facilities and workshop space. In addition, there are technical rooms serving RES technology.

Kortenowa elewacja z systemem przesuwnych paneli Schemat działania paneli elewacyjnych

The external framework with a system of sliding light-breaker panels

© Katarzyna Lechowska

distinctive walls

The exterior walls take two forms—a glazed curtain wall and a ventilated facade with a cladding of corten sheet metal. An additional element that creates another layer of plasticity to the whole building is an external framework with a system of sliding light-breaker(brise soleil) panels made of rust-brown mesh, which surround the educatorium.

Widok na bulwar od strony nabrzeża

view of the boulevard from the waterfront

© Katarzyna Lechowska

The ceilings of the main corridors on the east and west sides of the building are finished with cladding of the same color and texture as the facade, emphasizing the blending of interior and exterior.

© Architecture_KAWTiMP_WA_ZUT

The educational center being designed on the island, focusing on the idea of urban farming, aims to broaden urban residents' awareness of forms of alternative agriculture and educate them on how to practice it in the comfort of their own homes or apartments. Such crops, still gaining in popularity, are seen as a key solution to be able to provide food in the coming and climatically uncertain future, while saving space and making crops independent of weather factors, concludes Katarzyna Lechowska.

Read also about the project of a self-sustainable eco-housing in Stara Ligota in Katowice by Jakub Furmaniak.

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