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Green hostel for cyclists. Project awarded in a nationwide competition

23 of March '21

The design of a Wroclaw hostel for cyclists by Lukasz Modrzejewski of Wroclaw University of Technology has won first prize in the engineering thesis category of the competition for the best thesis in the field of green roofs and living walls. The jury appreciated the work for, among other things, an interesting idea and the integration of the building with its surroundings.

The competition was organized by the Polish Association "Green Roofs". The aim was to draw attention to disappearing urban greenery and to convince people of such solutions as green walls and roofs, which can be a lifesaver for cities. Participants in the competition could submit proposals in the form of undergraduate, engineering and master's theses.

Droga w formie rampy
prowadzi do hostelu

A ramp-like road leads to the hostel

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

The projects were evaluated in terms of the level of content and graphics, the originality of the topic and idea, as well as the use of ecological solutions, reducing the impact of the building on the environment and climate, and their full structural and material correctness. The works were judged by a jury consisting of Dr. Justyna Rubaszek from the University of Life Sciences in Wroclaw, Magdalena Biela from the Department of Urban Greenery in Katowice, Balbina Gryczynska from Calla, Dr. Edyta Sierka from the University of Silesia in Katowice and Anna Sylwester-Czapla from Optigruen.

hostel for cyclists

In the category of engineering works, the first place was awarded to Lukasz Modrzejewski from the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology for his project entitled. "Hostel for cyclists in Wroclaw". The awarded diploma was prepared under the direction of Dr. Tomasz Glowacki of the Department of Architecture and Visual Arts. The jury appreciated the work for a very good idea and its exemplary expression in words and design, as well as the fully correct application of green roof technology and the achieved integration of the object with the surroundings.

Plan zagospodarowania
terenu pod hostel

The area on which the hostel is to be built is shaped like a promontory 30 meters wide and 180 meters long

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

An architecture student has designed a hostel for cyclists with workshop space and a cafe. The facility would stand on the site of the former port "Mouth of the OlawaRiver" in Wroclaw and would be a distinctive point on the city map. The project is a response to the dynamic development of bicycle transportation and tourism in Poland. Lukasz Modrzejewski analyzed the network of bicycle routes distant from Wroclaw by up to 90 kilometers, and pointed out that the capital of Lower Silesia is where routes to Opole, Walbrzych and Glogow intersect. On top of that, there are many mid-sized towns and cities with natural attractions within a day's drive. Through Wroclaw runs the international EuroVelo route, the national one - the Odra Route and the local one - the Military Objects of Wroclaw.

Hostel dla

There are six hotel rooms in the building

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

Tourists using the trails , need accommodation to continue sightseeing or return home the next day. Hence the idea of a hostel just for them. For tourists traveling on long routes, who on the trail are often deprived of properly adapted and equipped stopping points. Overnight accommodations in non-urbanized areas are usually limited for them to sleeping in a tent, without sanitary facilities or a safe place to leave expensive equipment. In cities, on the other hand, hotels and hostels are tailored to the requirements of the "statistical" tourist, not taking into account the needs of the bicycle traveler, the author explains.

building hidden in the green

Thehostel in its expression is intended to contradict the stereotypes of bicycle architecture - trite, makeshift and repetitive. The young architect's assumption was to create a minimalist block, simple in expression, form and function, providing a background for the events taking place inside. The author also took into account the restoration of the former character of the port, which was once full of greenery. He decided that the nature of the building should harmonize with the intriguing terrain and take the least invasive shape possible, which will highlight what is beautiful in the existing place.

Hostel jest otoczony

building as inscribed in the terrain

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

The area on which the hostel is to be built is shaped like a promontory 30 meters wide and 180 meters long. It is surrounded by water on three sides - the Oława River to the west, the Oder River to the north and the harbor basin to the east. The building draws on its context, and through its proportions and dimensions emphasizes the axiality of the site. The designed one-story, horizontal block is an integral part of the site and allows easy access with a bicycle. The hostel is partially covered by an earthen embankment and thus invisible from the entrance. With the slope of the site, the building gradually emerges, providing adequate light to the interiors and views of the surrounding nature. An extension of the greenery on the plot is a green roof overgrown with grasses and low plants, which could provide a place for relaxation and a vantage point surrounded by nature.

Przekrój hostelu BB

The green roof is a vantage point and a place for relaxation

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

reception and bicycle workshop in one

A ramp-like pathway indicates the entrance to the site, and then transitions into a gallery with space for bicycles, finally reaching a green area opening to the Oder River. Inside the site, the architect placed a reception and workshop area that is a public information point. The workshop has not been separated by a separate room - it intermingles with the reception area. It is an equipped space for cyclists stopping by on their way, but also for the residents of Wroclaw.

friendly hotel rooms

The designed building has been equipped with a number of privacy-enhancing solutions, such as glazing made of reflective glass and mechanically controlled external blinds built into the facade. The hotel section is made up of six three-bedroom bedrooms. There is one atrium for every two rooms, which is also a bicycle parking area. It is accessible only to guests and is locked with a card.

Wnętrze pokoju

Each room has three single beds

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

In order to avoid the typical budget hostel layout, where bunk beds take up almost all the space and the always inadequate bathroom is located at the end of the corridor, I designed a layout with three single beds and a small toilet. This allows people to relax in an unobtrusive environment and at the same time fosters relationships between people with similar interests and passions, the author says.

unusual cafe

An atypical café would also operate in the hostel. Lukasz Modrzejewski, inspired by the Zifferblat chain of English cafes, designed a place where customers pay for the time they spend, not for the items they buy. Paying a few tens of pennies per minute, they receive the simplest products - coffee, tea, cookies, toast.

Rzut hostelu

The hostel has a reception, a bicycle workshop, a cafe and rooms for guests

© Lukasz Modrzejewski

Everything is self-service, and it is only the guests' responsibility to clean up after themselves. This makes it possible to create a unique, casual and homely atmosphere, and makes the whole thing more attractive to local residents.

The café is open to everyone, it's a place where even those who are not interested in two wheels, busy with the daily rush, can spend time, and at the same time meet a person who travels thousands of kilometers on a bicycle," the author adds.

Lukasz Modrzejewski's project, in addition to the first prize awarded by the Polish Association of "Green Roofs", was recognized by the Association of Polish Architects in France, which awarded it a distinction in the Prix Annuel De La SARPFR 2020 competition.

elaboration: Dobrawa Bies

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