Check out the A&B portal!

There has never been such a building in Poland before. It is distinguished not only by CLT technology

03 of October '23
Technical data
Name: Educational building in the Forest Botanical Garden "Marszewo".
Investor: Gdańsk Forest Inspectorate with headquarters in Gdynia
Location: Poland, Gdynia
Project: Gierbienis + Poklewski
Authors: Marcin Gierbienis, Damian Poklewski-Koziell


  • implementation


Usable area:

362 m²

The architects were keen that the new development should not interfere with the landscape. On the grounds of the Forest Botanical Garden „Marszewo” in Gdynia, they designed a wooden building using CLT technology, with black facade cladding, allowing the block to blend in with the forest surroundings. It will serve an educational function.

This is the first public building in Poland to use this technology. It was built in Marszewo, Gdynia, according to a design selected in 2016 in a competition organized by the Gdańsk Forestry Commission, based in Gdynia. The competition was held under the patronage of SARP "Wybrzeże". The studio GIERBIENIS + POKLEWSKI won, as the judges liked the „inspiring idea of land development with the composition of scattered "homestead” buildings, as well as the development of the concept of masses, construction, finishing materials and color of buildings." Construction of the new center in Marszew took two years and cost PLN 7 million.

reduce carbon footprint

Our priority during the design of this building was to promote CLT (Cross Laminated Timber)technology in Poland," Marcin Gierbienis of the GIERBIENIS + POKLEWSKI studio, which won the competition, tells AiB.—Ecology is as important a principal for us as beauty, durability and usability. We opted for wood, because in principle it is the only material so friendly to humans and the environment, it has a low carbon footprint. In addition, by using CLT technology, we eliminate all the concerns and downsides associated with the use of wood, and gain great performance, durability, and acoustic and thermal performance.

Leśny Ogród Botaniczny

Forest Botanical Garden „Marszewo” in Gdynia

Photo: Fotomohito

The technology the designer is talking about is used in the UK, Austria, Canada and Scandinavian countries. Meanwhile, it is only in its infancy in Poland. And it has proved to be the biggest challenge of this project.

- This is due, says Gierbienis, to the Polish construction market and the fact that this technology is practically non-existent in our country. On the other hand, we established cooperation with KLH, a renowned Austrian company with an extensive portfolio of this type of building. Eventually, too, there was a contractor who undertook the realization together with us.

Stanislaw Kujawski of TB Invest, which is the general contractor, also pays attention to ecology.

- We don't have traditional construction based on standard materials such as concrete, steel or ceramics. The main structural elements are wooden, that is, natural. They are not made in large factories, which consume tons of oil, electricity," Stanislaw Kujawski points out.

The blackness is the result of tanning larch wood

The Forest Botanical Garden „Marszewo” covers an area of nearly 50 hectares. The facility, which was built here, took on a minimalist form and consists of two separate, two-story buildings and a glazed connector. The masses refer in their form to the archetype of a barn. What catches the eye, however, is the building's color scheme. Marcin Gierbienis stresses that the designers wanted their interference not to be visible in the existing landscape.

Na elewacji zastosowano deski modrzewiowe opalane w technologii Shou Sugi Ban

The facade uses larch planks fired in Shou Sugi Ban technology.

Photo: Fotomohito

- We felt that the project should be withdrawn from nature and belong to the environment. Hence, the first decision was to realize an all-wood building and a dark color scheme to blend into the forest background," explains the architect.

The facade was finished with tan boards, so far in Poland found mainly in interior elements and furniture. In Marszewo, the architects were guided by a practical idea: choosing such a facade finish will help protect the facade from the weather. Significantly, as in the case of CLT, this is probably the first public project to have such a facade.

Forest Botanical Garden „Marszewo” in Gdynia.

photo." Fotomohito

And what will be inside? The interiors will be filled with a permanent exhibition and two teaching rooms, which were created for workshops and classes for visitors. There is also a point of information about the educational paths of the botanical garden and administrative rooms . The landscaping includes two courtyards belonging to the facility, one with an amphitheater, allowing for cloud-based classes, as well as outbuildings and a greenhouse.

Wnętrza wypełni wystawa stała i dwie sale dydaktyczne, które powstały z myślą o warsztatach i zajęciach dla odwiedzających

The interiors will be filled with a permanent exhibition and two teaching rooms, which were created for workshops and classes for visitors


Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast