Materials and Technologies for Architects – free online version

A jungle in the midst of concrete - realized by Malinowski Design

Wiktor Bochenek
14 of October '22
Technical data
Malinowski Design Urban & Landscape
Team: Dariusz Malinowski, Daniel Konopka, Beniamin Straszewski, Tomasz Kurtek, Jakub Woźny
Botanical consultation: Joanna Bogdanowicz
Greenhouse design: BJK Architects
Construction: Skills Group Dariusz Czeplina
Aquaristics: Jakub Kordas
Lighting: QLAB Laboratory of Light
Sound: Mood Media
Installations: Sanis
Green Drop Tomasz Pogorzelec
Investor: Olivia Business Centre
Year of project creation:
Construction: 2016-2021

The Jungle Room arrangement style is primarily associated with the interiors of millenials, who green their apartments to the limit. However, such a solution is not reserved for private interiors, as shown by Olivia Garden - the latest realization by Malinowski Design.

Dariusz Malinowski of Malinowski Design talks about the Olivia Garden project, the selection of plants, the technological solutions used in this realization and satisfaction.

Wiktor Bochenek: What is the story behind the creation of Olivia Garden? How long was this realization created and how many people worked on it?

Dariusz Malinowski (Malinowski Design): The investor invited us in 2016 to a competition to develop a concept and solutions for the surroundings of the Olivia business center in Gdansk Olivia, on the occasion of the expansion of the complex with new buildings including the main building - Olivia Star. Work on the project lasted four years along with construction.

The garden was to be realized with everyday visitors in mind. Above all, to provide an attractive place to work and relax - to get away from the office atmosphere. It is a place not only to visit, but also to work or relax. The challenge was to create an ideal environment for people, but also for plants to grow and flourish.

Olivia Garden zlokalizowane zostało w sercu gdańskich biurowców

Olivia Garden was located in the heart of Gdansk's office buildings

© Malinowski Design

A whole staff of experts worked on the project from landscape architects, horticulturists and botanists, plant cultivation experts, architects, constructor, installers, lighting engineers, furniture makers, sound engineers and many others were people, both employed by our studio, Malinowskidesign, and on the investor's side. I think more than fifty people came through this project.

The project was inspired by tropical islands - creating a magical garden in the heart of the "concrete jungle." The goal was to create a unique, harmonious place full of warm colors. In the garden there are many places to relax in a group or alone, with different intensity of sunlight, everyone can find a place for themselves. The garden was designed so that even with a larger number of people there is space for an individual.

Wiktor: How big is the complex?

Dariusz: Olivia Garden is a space of nearly eight hundred square meters. It was filled with thousands of tropical plants of various species, which come from countries such as Indonesia, Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Borneo, Costa Rica, Venezuela, or the tropical forests of the Amazon. In addition to numerous plants reaching two to three meters in height, more than thirty large trees were planted in the garden.

More than 150 plant species have been placed in the garden space

More than 150 species of plants have been placed in the garden space

© Malinowski Design

Wiktor: What is the Nature Connect Concept used in this project?

Dariusz: Nature Connect is an original concept of our design studio, which goes far beyond the forms of interior design encountered so far using live plants. Many of the office building's utility functions have been integrated into the garden, which forms one of the main domains of the entire complex. In its implementation, an innovative roof garden climate control technology was used to maintain a close-to-natural ecosystem of an exotic garden even in conditions without access to daylight. Other solutions, such as green walls, office greenery arrangements or potted plants on desks and in common spaces - are usually based on a few simple plant species capable of surviving indoors.

To achieve this, we have developed a climate control technology that is innovative on a European scale. Such an equivalent of "automatic weather", with which we can control temperature, humidity, sunlight and air exchange regardless of changing external climatic conditions, ensure the welfare of plants and the comfort of garden users. It is the only such place where a person can feel like in an exotic landscape.

Ogród można oglądać z antresoli

The garden can be viewed from the mezzanine

© Malinowski Design

The Nature Connectconcept used at Olivia Garden is based on the idea that the arrangement of the entire space is built to reflect the mood of the natural ecosystem as much as possible, positively influencing people's well-being. The design takes care of the most important details, such as noise level, air quality, type of light and nature-filled surroundings, which soothe the mood of users. They create four zones for the garden's audience: dialogue, relaxation, coworking, food&drink zone. A mezzanine, pathways and ramps were created between them.

This project summarizes more than twenty-two years of our experience in designing botanical gardens, zoological gardens, palm houses or terrariums. Based on these, we are able to transport the user to the places he or she would like to visit, giving them the opportunity to fully interact with nature in such a usually unnatural environment as the office and the city. Olivia Garden is the first step in the search for solutions that will help us better understand the relationship between human comfort and nature. By introducing "nature connect infrastructure" into buildings, we create a climate of relaxation in them, a bond with nature, which positively affects the level of engagement, creativity and interaction between people.

Obok relaksu, ogród może służyć również spotkaniom i pracy

In addition to relaxation, the garden can also be used for meetings and work

© Malinowski Design

Wiktor: How was the issue of watering the plants solved?

Dariusz: The irrigation and fertilization system is a modern, fully automated plant nutrition system, where nutrients in the form of diluted mineral salts are delivered in the right form to the plants. Thanks to the recirculation system, water losses are minimal - amounting to as much as evaporates through the open windows, and the growing water itself is obtained from rain.

Wiktor: How was the space solved from the technical side, such as reducing electricity consumption?

Dariusz: Both the choice of technology and the design of the garden itself had a huge impact on reducing energy consumption. This is influenced by the fact that here we have a rich composition of plants, which capture much of the energy through their leaves. Plants also cast shade on the floor, which thus does not heat up from the sun. The proper arrangement of plants in the pavilion forces the natural movement of air, which helps increase the comfort felt by humans.

Garden uses rainwater

The garden makes use of rainwater, among other things

© Malinowski Design

At the same time, thanks to the convective movement of ventilation equipment, energy expenses are reduced. Shade curtains, in addition to controlling sunlight, additionally perform the function of thermal insulation, reducing cooling expenses and reducing heat loss in winter. The system interchangeably regulates humidity and perceptibly reduces temperature, which is essential for creating a climate for plants and people. The facility, thanks to its design and large, uses these weaknesses as an asset. When the outside temperature drops, the humidity inside increases, which is beneficial to the plants and reduces the energy costs needed for dehumidification. Thanks to the plants, we have lower energy costs and the climate for humans is more friendly.

W ogrodzie są specjalne, odosobnione miejsca do medytacji, jak i spotkań

In the garden there are special, secluded places for meditation, as well as meetings

© Malinowski Design

Wiktor: For whom is the Olivia Garden available?

Dariusz: The garden is accessible to everyone during the day mainly residents, residents as well as visitors.

Wiktor: What was the most difficult part of this project, and what are you most proud of?

Dariusz: There is no similar realization in Europe or maybe in the world, so we had to start everything from scratch. We had nothing to rely on, there were many experts from different fields working on the project, and it required a lot of trust and work so that everyone was in agreement on the expected result.

From the very beginning we set high expectations so that the comfort of people and plants would not conflict with each other. The biggest success is that we have happy users in a healthy and vibrant egotistical landscape in northern Poland. Today thousands of visitors are benefiting, which is something to be proud of.

Wiktor: Thank you for the interview!

Olivia Garden

Olivia Garden

© Malinowski Design

interviewed Wiktor Bochenek

The vote has already been cast

TRENDS [2023] - Software
NOVATOR® CITY - wielkoformatowe płyty brukowe
Trendy 2023 - kuchnie Neolith