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Traditional material and unconventional solid. Competition design Green Portal of Józefów

11 of May '21
Technical data
Name: Green Portal of Jozefow
Location: Poland, Jozefow.
Workshops: Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic
Author team:

Atelier Entropic: Geoffrey Eberle, Magdalena Mróz, Paweł Marjański
Bartosz Dendura Studio4SPACE Architectural Studio: Bartosz Dendura, Martyna Mądry


2021 (competition)

Total usable area:

4 800 m²

In the competition for the design of the municipal library and kindergarten at Asnyka Street in Jozefow, decided in February this year, the jury awarded the second prize to the original concept of a team of two studios - Studio4Space and Atelier Entropic (the proposal of the Regio studio won the competition). The designers joined forces to create a design for a sculpted, organic block sunk in the forest landscape.

In the second-prize winning proposal, the blocks housing the kindergarten and the library were located opposite each other, with the kindergarten building slightly shifted into the depths of the plot, which allowed to separate the building from the street and create a corner square at the intersection of Asnyka and 11 Listopada streets. What's more, all classrooms in the kindergarten faced the park and were oriented for optimal access to natural light. In turn, the library section running along Asnyka Street shapes the frontage and provides visibility for the building.

widok bird`s eye viewwidok bird`s eye viewwidok bird`s eye view

bird's eye view

© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

What distinguishes this project the most is the place where the two volumes connect - the walls of the buildings, like a gentle wave, gradually narrow down to the point of contact, thus creating a kind of gateway to the park behind the building and facilitating access to the playground and auditorium located on the roof. More open functions, such as a gymnasium, an indoor playground, a cafeteria and a multipurpose space for the library, are placed at the point where the volumes merge.

przekrój A-A

cross-section A-A

© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

Ola Kloc
: What is the reason for such an unusual shape of the block?

Magdalena Mróz: When analyzing the competition task, we considered many options for locating the program inside one or two separate blocks and in the context of the entire environment. Designing within such a unique plot of land, densely covered with tall pine and birch trees, with a forest character is a huge challenge for an architect. How to design a well-functioning building that also interferes as little as possible with the surrounding greenery and ecosystem?

After careful analysis, we came to the conclusion that the best answer to the challenge posed to us would be a building that would logically and compactly combine two separate blocks so as to limit the technical infrastructure around, but at the same time so that the buildings could function independently.



© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

As a result, each function was designed according to the parameters relevant to it. The moment of contact between the blocks acts as a gateway/portalbetween the city and nature, as well as an entrance to the park and to the roof of the building, where the auditorium and the children's playground were located. Ramps inside the building create interesting multifunctional spaces that can be used in many ways.

Locating the playground on the roof of the building is one of the assumptions by which we wanted to reduce the adverse impact of the building on the surrounding ecosystem, making one hundred percent use of the space we have already taken from nature.

: What other eco-friendly solutions did you include in this project?

Magdalena: Sustainable design is not only about choosing the right materials, but more importantly, key decisions at the initial design stage that can significantly reduce the building's carbon footprint and adverse environmental impact.

schemat konstrukcji

diagram of the building structure

© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

The Jozefow Green Portal project is a kind of experiment showing how to take care of the local ecosystem and compactly plan the program to reduce the building footprint and carbon footprint. The project includes two efficiently laid out floors, separately for the library and kindergarten, to ensure maximum comfort with the smallest possible footprint. The playground and recreation area were placed on the roof of the building. This not only allowed us to create an attractive place to play in the city, but also reduced interference with the existing ecosystem and damage to the forest. Locating the functions of the kindergarten and library in the immediate vicinity also reduces the technical infrastructure needed. Parking spaces are located in the underground garage, directly under the building.

widok at the junction of the two blockswidok at the junction of the two blockswidok at the junction of the two blocks

view at the junction of the two blocks

© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

Given our situation today, in the face of major environmental and ecological challenges, wood trumps all other materials. The use of wood as a construction material has been carefully selected to enhance environmental credentials and reduce CO2 emissions. Wood also serves as acoustic attenuation for noisy interiors, especially important in library and nursery design. Building with wood is a form of climate activism. When we show that wood is not only an easy-to-use and economical building material, but can also be incredibly beautiful, offering elegant and warm interiors, we change the attitude of everyone who visits the building. In the case of a nursery, this aspect is especially important - we are raising many more generations with the attitude that wood is a traditional and natural solution.

wewnętrzny playgroundwewnętrzny playgroundwewnętrzny playground

indoor playground

© Studio4Space, Atelier Entropic

The project in Jozefow also aims to showcase the freedom that wooden construction offers in an unconventional form. The Jozefow Green Portal project shows that wood is not only a sustainable material, but also an exciting alternative to conventional construction methods.

Ola: The project is the result of a collaboration between Krakow-based Studio4Space and Atelier Entropic, which is based in Barcelona. Have you also competed in competitions held in Spain? Do you notice any differences in their preparation?

Magdalena: Atelier Entropic is based in Barcelona, but we operate throughout Europe, collaborating with offices from other countries. This form of work allows us to learn a lot from each other and strategically use the knowledge and experience of our colleagues. So far, we have not participated in any competition held in Spain, while we often participate in competitions in Scandinavian countries. Projects in Scandinavia are usually much better funded. In countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway, much more attention is also paid to the conceptual stage of the project - the strategy, the idea. We often get the impression that the rules of the competition are less rigid, allowing for more varied solutions and proposals. The architect's opinion is highly valued in Scandinavia throughout the investment process, which ultimately leads to better results. When evaluating projects, more innovative, formally or ideologically bolder solutions are also appreciated. Of course, all these advantages also mean definitely more competition.

Ola: Thank you for the interview.

Ola Kloc

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