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Karol Pieter - "Familok of the 21st century - revitalization of the historic Werdon patronage estate in Ruda Śląska"

18 of January '23
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2022
Author: Karol Pieter
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Śląskiej

Dr. Jan Kubec

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

The diploma work "Familok of the 21st Century" presents a conceptual design for the revitalization of the historic Werdon patronage estate in Ruda Śląska. The main idea is to create a model example of restoring the value of the degraded (through intensive mining) urban fabric with simultaneous strengthening of social ties. The proposal assumes the creation of new spaces emphasizing respect for local values restoring the primacy of communal zones, for example, through the use of modular development that allows for the rapid creation of a variety of functions.



© Karol Pieter

The main stage on which we could observe the daily life of the residents of the workers' colony was a square surrounded on four sides by buildings, an inner courtyard where there were small farm buildings (śl. chlywiki), where the residents kept livestock or pigeons, which are still a regional tradition today. The rest of the space was filled with compacted earth, on which stood only a whisker (śl. klopsztanga). This was where the playing children usually stayed.

Self-sufficiency was very important to the Upper Silesians of the time. The ecosystem they created could today boldly be called an urban village. Residents raised animals and cultivated gardens.

ilustracje archiwalne

archival illustrations

© Karol Pieter

The project envisages dividing the square into two parts: a public zone the square being the place of the main social life (example scenarios are a soccer field, a stage for performances by mining and metallurgical orchestras or plays, places for foodtruck rallies, recreation and children's games, an ice rink); a private zone being separate spaces with the possibility of renting. They are grouped into sectors: livestock gardens, animal pens, rest areas, storage areas, and an organic farm.

plan zagospodarowania terenu        strefy prywatne i ich funkcje

site plan; private zones and their functions

© Karol Pieter

Social life in the former familok took place not only outside. In the planned development, the square will also be extended to other floors, creating a kind of vertical square in the form of galleries surrounding the buildings inside.

plan zagospodarowania terenu; plac, część górna        przekroje

site development plan, square, upper part; sections

© Karol Pieter

All the events would not have existed without the pavilions (śl. sztandów). They were the ones that allowed for easy and quick transfer of individual functions or creation of their variety. In turn, pavilions appear in the concept as modular solutions that allow them to be used in many ways.

nowy plac

new square

© Karol Pieter

The project envisages enlarging the apartments by combining individual rooms. The staircase will be expanded to include an elevator and a common area where residents will be able to hang out with their neighbors. A variety of apartments will be provided to suit each user. First floor apartments will get their own garden, which could be an incentive for those who prefer single-family housing.

fragment rzutu części zabytkowej

a fragment of the plan of the historic part

© Karol Pieter

When looking for technological solutions to expand the Werdon estate, timber frame technology seems to be the most advantageous. The life cycle of the building is defined and should be easily transformable or disposable. Using this technology and modern energy sources, a zero-energy building can be created. The speed of erection of buildings from ready-made modules is a huge advantage over traditional structures. Also, its lightness (almost ten times less weight compared to masonry structures) in an area threatened by mining damage is an important issue in favor of this very technology.

schematy konstrukcji i etapy budowy

construction schemes and stages

© Karol Pieter

The apartments will be equipped with mobile systems, allowing easy rearrangement or fencing of the space. Modular frame construction will allow the investment to be phased depending on the investor's financial capabilities.

typologia modułów

typology of modules

© Karol Pieter

The project includes guidelines that allow universal use of solutions in the transformation processes of workers' colonies. Taking into account the modern needs of man and combining them with the historical heritage, additionally paying attention to the transformations and social needs of man and the success of strong neighborly ties in the creation of well-functioning cities, it is possible to produce a structure whose result will be called "Familok of the 21st century".

A video telling the story of the "Werdon" neighborhood in Ruda Śląska:


Illustrations: © Author

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