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Traditional or digital design model? The concept of an artisan settlement in Kashubia

28 of August '20

Adam Grudzień and Iga Jagodzinska attempted to solve the problem of the disappearance of special and regional features in 21st century architecture. The goal of their project was to create a place, shaped on the basis of traditional form and providing conditions for the dissemination of knowledge about vernacular architecture and folk crafts. To do this, they wrote a special program based on algorithmic data analysis.

The project was created as a thesis at the Faculty of Architecture at the Gdansk University of Technology under the direction of Dr. Agnieszka Blazko. The authors contrasted two design models - traditional and generative. Conducting an analysis on the basis of regional buildings of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, they created a proposal for a complex of buildings forming a craftsmen's settlement in Wdzydze Kiszewskie. The result is a concept consistent with the environment, based on locally occurring materials and focusing on minimizing the impact on the environment.

Osada rzemieślnicza

The designed buildings create a craftsman settlement

© Adam Grudzień, Iga Jagodzińska

programming vs. architecture

Adam Grudzień and Iga Jagodzińska proposed a premise consisting of buildings with hotel, recreational, conference, exhibition and workshop functions. These buildings are connected to three residential structures, the projections of which were generated by the author's program.

As the authors state:

Programming, as an interdisciplinary solution, creates an amalgamation of many topics that enables the use of computers and their computing power, to solve complex problems. The primary function of programming, is to make it easier for people to perform repetitive processes, or to replace them entirely with machine work. The main benefit of this approach, is to save time, which can be spent on the creative part of the task. In architecture, too, there is an opportunity to use programming as an auxiliary tool in the search for an answer to the spatial problem at hand. In the generative approach presented, the commonly understood identity was limited to vector values, without the context of the history of the area and aesthetic qualities, which are the basis of the humanistic view of the surrounding reality.

Komputerowa analiza
istniejącej zabudowy i dostosowanie budynków

The authors wrote a special program for analysis

© Adam Grudzień, Iga Jagodzinska

modern analysis of tradition

The composition of the placement on the plot and the functional solutions of the main buildings were proposed on the basis of a computerized urban analysis of the surrounding homestead buildings. In contrast to the traditional method, the analysis of the rural layout was based on automatic finding of relations between building blocks. The directions of the roof ridges of existing buildings were observed. To find the connections between buildings, the authors used a machine learning algorithm.

Widok elewacji
wschodniej założenia

The traditional building material in Kashubia is wood

© Adam Grudzień, Iga Jagodzińska

Unlike the task of locating buildings, it was not possible to use the existing database when generating functional layouts, so the architects used a generative approach when creating functional layouts. The dimensions of the buildings were then selected to represent three sizes of houses, referring to the proportions of a traditional Kashubian cottage. Having determined the relationship between spaces in the facility, it was possible to proceed to the selection of the Metropolis optimization algorithm. The principle of this tool is based on a comparison of successive states of the entire layout with the current one, followed by the selection of a solution closer to the optimal one. Having defined modifications of the entire layout, the architects generated room layouts.

The traditional building material throughout Kashubia is wood, which is why the above-ground structure of the main buildings and the sheathing of their roofs are also made of this material. The negative impact of the buildings on the environment was minimized by introducing skylights with three functions, depending on the season. The use of local materials has reduced pollution associated with long-distance transportation.

Przekroje budynków

residential buildings

© Adam Grudzień, Iga Jagodzinska

man and machine

As Adam Grudzień and Iga Jagodzinska say about the results:

As a result, both digital and traditional design resulted in buildings that respect all regional characteristics. However, the final effect was achieved through human interference in the final form of the generated building - its body referring to traditional buildings or wooden construction. This shows how much man and his creative approach and analysis of subtle signs, contributes to the development of architecture, but also presents the possibilities of cooperation with the machine.

The project is in the finals of this year's Zbyszek Zawistowski "Diploma of the Year" Award, the results of which will be announced in October. In addition to this work, the nominees for the award include: Konrad Lepak with the design of a hotel on the Soliński Lagoon, Iga Ostrowska author of the design of a community development, Martyna Mazurek author of a rotating skyscraper , and Adriana Sowa with the design of the Herbarium.

compiled by: Dobrawa Bies

illustrations courtesy of Adam Gruden and Iga Jagodzinska

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