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A field hospital like a matryoshka. Award-winning project by students of the Silesian University of Technology

02 of July '21

The international competition "24H Architecture Competiton - Pandemic" was full of successes for Polish students. Another team that received an honorable mention represents the Silesian University of Technology, and consists of: Jacek Czudak, Dawid Drożdż, Dominik Kowalski, Monika Marszoł and Janusz Polański. Made by them in just 24 hours, the design of the field hospital refers to the idea of a traditional Russian toy - a matryoshka.

24 hours, that's how much time the participants of the 37th edition of the Ideasforward portal's "24H Architecture Competiton" had for the project. The goal was to prepare a conceptual design for a field hospital to combat the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The organizers emphasized a well-designed structure that could be quickly assembled anywhere in the world. The proposed space was also to be a structure that would include, among other things, a vaccination center and test site. It was important to consider the program, which was to include: space for about a thousand beds, intensive care considering three hundred beds, independent segments for vaccination and testing, technical areas, support areas for doctors and nurses, vaccination booths and parking.

Honorable mention for students of the Silesian University of Technology

The jury composed of: Joanna Helm, Cristina Mendonça, Perdro Santos, Sara Pelicano and Nuno Sampaio were interested in works with an interesting idea and form. Attention was also paid to a well-chosen location, unusual solutions and aspects related to sustainable development. The architects selected three projects that received the main awards and seven honorable mentions, among them was the concept "Matryoshka" by a team from the Silesian University of Technology.

Założenia projektowe

The hospital was designed from modules and placed at the airport

© Jacek Czudak, Dawid Drożdż, Dominik Kowalski, Monika Marszoł, Janusz Polański

The competition was a great challenge for us. We had only 24 hours to implement it, so the idea had to be born in our heads as quickly as possible. Also, presenting the idea in such a short time was very stressful, but at the same time it was also mobilizing. A very important point that contributed to our success is that there was a great atmosphere in the team. Working under time pressure in a competition is always a challenge, even more so in a competition lasting 24 hours, where there is no room for mistakes or disputes in the division of labor. The whole team should work together seamlessly like cogs in a Swiss watch, being a help and driving force for each other," said the awarded authors.

hospital like a matryoshka

The hospital designed by students of the Silesian University of Technology consists of modules referring to the idea of matryoshka - boxes hidden in boxes.

Szpital zbudowany
z kontenerów

The project consists of containers/modules that can be freely expanded

© Jacek Czudak, Dawid Drożdż, Dominik Kowalski, Monika Marszoł, Janusz Polański

The problem of field hospitals is primarily related to the rapid erection of the entire structure and transportation - thus, the international standard for buildings of this type in the form of modular elements should be used. The entire hospital was based on such a principle. As we wanted to be consistent in our work, we relied on the idea of solids similar in size - the modules were directly proportional to the individual parts of the building, as well as to the whole ensemble, says the design team.

The first and most important issue for the authors of the project, was the choice of location, combined with appropriate service and communication. Reflection on the thread of transportation led to the idea of using an existing airport.

lokalizacja na lotnisku

As a location, the authors chose the airport

© Jacek Czudak, Dawid Drożdż, Dominik Kowalski, Monika Marszoł. Janusz Polanski

Increasingly empty and unattended airports seemed to us to be extremely attractive for locating our idea there. An additional argument in favor of just this location is the decidedly above-average communication at the airports, the students add.

Szpital polowy na

The modules allow easy installation and adaptation to existing runways

© Jacek Czudak, Dawid Drożdż, Dominik Kowalski, Monika Marszoł. Janusz Polanski

The second issue was the modularity of the design, which in effect became its hallmark. The modules, designed on the basis of universal container dimensions, allow easy assembly and expansion of the hospital and, importantly, adaptation to existing runways located at a given airport. The recurring theme of modularity guided the authors to the project's name, and that's how Matryoshka came to be.

Also, a team from Wroclaw University of Technology received an honorable mention in the same competition. Mikołaj Kałużny, Maja Klawitter, Kornel Kurtys, Maria Opłatek and Bartłomiej Tuczapski created a flying hospital out of a special modular membrane.

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