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Katarzyna Dybała - "Peregrynarium - conceptual design of a pilgrim's house in Luban on Kamienna Góra as a stop on the St. James trail"

01 of September '23
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2022

Katarzyna Dybała

Wydział Architektury Politechniki Śląskiej
Dr. Damian Radwanski

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

"Peregrynarium" is a conceptual design for a pilgrim's house in Lubań, Kamienna Góra. The work addresses the need for contemporary architecture for pilgrims traveling to the tomb of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The growing interest in wandering along pilgrim routes has initiated consideration of the requirements that should be met by the architecture of the pilgrim's house a place of refuge and regeneration.



© Katarzyna Dybała

The building was located on the site of an abandoned municipal swimming pool in Lubań on Kamienna Góra. Lubań is located at the confluence of three St. Jacob's trails, and the pool area requires intervention to put it back into use. "Peregrynarium" was located on the slope of the mountain, according to the direction of the contours that cut through the area. The main entrance to the building connects to the tract network of the nearby historic park. The closed form of the building was contrasted by a free arrangement of meandering paths between the existing stand of trees.

sytuacja i zagospodarowanie terenu

situation and land development

© Katarzyna Dybała

The projection concept derives from an adaptation of the design used in the production of handkerchiefs, for which the city of Lubań became internationally famous in the 20th century. The cut of the handkerchief served as the initial pattern into which the functions of the building were inscribed. While making the necessary minor changes, the proportions and principles of the motif were meticulously preserved.



© Katarzyna Dybała

The medieval provenance of peregrinations allowed to reach back to monastic architecture, and the small cells of the monks led to interiors that are economical in expression, but meet the requirements of modern design principles.



© Katarzyna Dybała

A garden a place for contemplation and tranquility was envisaged in the central part of the establishment. The monastery gardens, full of symbolism, became the inspiration for designing the geometrized form of the courtyard. Its crisscrossing paths symbolize the rivers of paradise. The meaning of the four fields can be translated as the four cardinal virtues, while the fountain symbolizes the source of life. The plantings were chosen not by chance: violets stand for humility, lilies for purity of faith, and boxwood for eternal life.



© Katarzyna Dybała

The facade design combines two motifs a half-timbered house and a pilgrim shell. Lubań belongs to the Land of Half-timbered Houses, whose heritage includes Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. The half-timbered house is an example of traditional folk architecture, whose characteristic structure has been transformed and used in the form of columns and facade divisions. The second motif used in the detailing is the pilgrim shell. The shell was an integral attribute of pilgrims, and is now used to mark pilgrimage routes. Its shape was used for the design of the milling above the terrace doors.

elewacje detal fasady

facades and facade details

© Katarzyna Dybała

The living area occupies three sides of the building, and each side is divided into five strips. Considered from the outside, the following strips can be distinguished: terraces, living rooms, a multipurpose corridor, associated functions and arcades. The sleeping rooms face the corridor. The dining tables, armchairs and library bookcases proposed there create a common activity zone. Opposite the sleeping rooms along the corridor run strips of accompanying functions: laundry room, kitchens, storage rooms.


cross sections

© Katarzyna Dybała

The fourth side of the Pilgrim House was located in the existing elevation of the site. A small chapel has been designed in the upper left corner. The rest of this section is intended for the organization of small cultural events. On the -1 level, all rooms related to technological services are also provided here.

rzut kondygnacji 0 rzut kondygnacji +1

plans of floors 0 and +1

© Katarzyna Dybała

Above the block there is a viewing tower consisting of a ramp encircling a shaft filled with rooms of various functions. A walk along the ramp ends with an entrance to the viewing terrace. The irregular layout of the rooms suspended above the chapel provokes a play of shadows and light, a sheaf of which falls from a skylight located in the roof of the tower.

idea wieży wieża widokowa

observation tower

© Katarzyna Dybała

The basic building material is wood using CLT board technology. The vertical arrangement of the facade boards corresponds to the rhythm of the balusters of the terrace balustrade and the wooden fins.

Glass dyls were also used in the accompanying function strips. A semi-transparent zone was created, providing light to the corridors. The glass walls act as a buffer to reduce noise coming from the courtyard.

pokój sypialny

sleeping room

© Katarzyna Dybała

"Peregrynarium" opens a discussion on Polish infrastructure for pilgrims and the potential hidden in the borderlands. The project provokes consideration of a pilgrim's house as a facility to host visitors from home and abroad. An object that the city of Lubań could boast of in the international arena of pilgrim routes.

Katarzyna Dybała

Illustrations: © Author

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