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A hotel full of art. The winning project by students of the Wroclaw University of Technology.

Dobrawa Bies
25 of August '22

A performance in a hotel, or an overnight stay in an art gallery? Meet the La esquina del arte project by Sara Korzynska and Karolina Staszewska from the Faculty of Architecture at Wroclaw University of Technology. Their proposal for an unusual hotel that could be built in Barcelona won the international competition Hotel de Arte platform UNI!

Tourism is one of the most popular ways of getting to know the world, but often tourists visit places intended only for them, without getting to know the local culture and people. For this, the organizers of the Hotel de Arte competition decided to break this mutual alienation through culture and art. They assumed that by combining the functions of a hotel and an exhibition space, visitors would be able to get to know local artists and their work. Poblenou, a former industrial district of Barcelona that has been undergoing a dynamic economic and aesthetic transformation for the past three decades, was chosen as the project's location.

Założenie zaprasza do poznawania twórczości artystów

the premise invites visitors to explore the artists' work

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

The hotel's design could have been inspired by local art and culture, and it was mandatory to include gallery spaces, an exhibition hall and studios. Since the building will be visited by both hotel guests and passersby, the spaces had to be appropriately designed for security and privacy. The body of the building was to fit in with its surroundings.

The goal of the competition was to design a hotel centered around the arts, so that guests would have a memorable stay and get to know local artists, and art organizations would establish partnerships with hotel investors.

La esquina del arte project, location

The project could be built in Barcelona

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

polish students win

The competition was won by the project La esquina del arte [The space around art] by Wrocław University of Technology students Sara Korzynska and Karolina Staszewska.

Poblenou, or New Town, is a residential area stuck to the historic part of the city, formerly full of factories and workers' settlements, today full of growing businesses, modern residential buildings and centers of culture and art. The competition plot is located right on the border dividing the older and newer parts of the city, so we wanted to simultaneously fit into the traditional fabric of the city and its post-industrial part, the authors explain.

Restauracja z widokiem na dziedziniec

restaurant overlooking the courtyard

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

An open quarter, full of colorful light

The starting point for the authors was a square-shaped development quarter with truncated corners, typical of Barcelona. The quarter proposed by the students opens in three places, at the entrance to the park, on axis with the neighboring residential quarter and at the entrance to the art center next door - this open character became the essence of the project.

To further encourage residents and tourists to visit the building and its courtyard, glass connectors filled with colored glass (slightly reminiscent of Gaudi's architecture) are placed above the passageways, which, depending on the angle of the light, cast a colorful shadow on the sidewalk, the designers add.

La esquina del arte project, first floor plan

La esquina del arte project, first floor plan

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

Located on the first floor, the open and glazed galleries were conceived as spaces for artists and a catering area, while hotel rooms were placed on the first floor.

a frame for art

The main body of the building is simple with a rhythmic arrangement of windows - a reference to the surrounding post-industrial buildings. The rough planes of the walls contrast with the smooth glazing of the windows and display cases and the matte solids of the transparent connectors.

The simplicity of the massing is also due to the fact that we wanted the architecture to be merely a frame for the art being created there, the authors add.

Wnętrza galeryjne z przesuwnymi ścianami

gallery interiors with sliding walls

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

The first floor of the building houses workshop rooms, art studios and both indoor and outdoor art galleries. In this way, the building bridges the gap between visitors and artists - visitors become an audience for the artists working there. Through the use of movable glass walls, the boundary between the building and the inner courtyard is blurred. The walls are both a division in the gallery and a substrate for various types of artistic creation.

La esquina del arte project, 1st floor plan

On the first floor there are hotel rooms

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

The second floor has been used for hotel rooms with accompanying kitchen, library and leisure spaces. These rooms are directly connected to the roof terrace, where recreational spaces for yoga or barbecues have been proposed among the greenery.

Widok z tarasu hotelu

The view from the hotel's terrace

© Sara Korzynska, Karolina Staszewska

Read also about the award-winning design of a coworking space for artists by Karolina Indyk.


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