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Katarzyna Przybylo - "Architecture of silence".

01 of March '21
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2020
Author: Katarzyna Przybylo
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Krakowskiej
Main Promoter:

Dr. Janusz Barnaś

Associate Promoter:

Dr. Bartosz Dendura

The project involves locating a new hostel near a once existing private facility that serves as a refuge for those engaged in mountain tourism. Przysłop Miętusi is located between Dolina Kościeliska and Dolina Małej Łąki, making it a well-connected and relatively easily accessible place, in addition to the picturesque view towards Czerwone Wierchy, Kominiarski Wierch and Giewont.

lokalizacyjna; schemat powstawania bryły

location concept; scheme of solid formation

© Katarzyna Przybylo

Thecontemplation hostel in the Tatra Mountains is to become a place of tranquility, where it will be possible to disconnect from everyday life and enjoy the beauty of the natural landscape, as well as to realize mundane pleasures for which we usually do not have time, such as reading books or observing nature during walks in the forest. There is no wi-fi or television at the center, and the only attractions are the natural landscape outside the window, the collection of interesting literature, our talent and skills that we can develop here, and the other people staying at the center. The tranquility complex is first and foremost an alternative way of spending time in the Tatras for all those who come to the mountains to enjoy their natural allure.

widok on the shelter from afarwidok on the shelter from afarwidok on the shelter from afar

view of the hostel from afar

© Katarzyna Przybylo

The site is also meant to be an answer to the problem of crowded shelters in the Tatra National Park. Mountain bases have lost their original purpose, they are no longer just a place of shelter for high-mountain hikers - they have become known as "mountain guesthouses" for tourists coming to Zakopane. Accommodations have to be booked months in advance, and Tatra hikers who want to stay for one night often have to sleep on the floor. The creation of a new site could therefore expand the Tatra National Park's accommodation offerings. The complex of buildings set in a natural mountain landscape would include individual rooms for rent for more than one night, as well as dedicated accommodations for high-altitude hikers.


cross section

© Katarzyna Przybylo

The starting point for the concept and direct inspiration was the unique location. The building stems from the topography of the area and opens to three sides: Kominiarski Wierch, Czerwone Wierchy and Giewont. The designed building is intended to interfere as little as possible with the beauty of the natural landscape, disappearing against the background of the green glade. The flowing shape of the roof refers to the hills nearby. The horizontal solid and the dominant flowing horizontal lines enhance the effect of sinking into the landscape. Because the massing results from the topography and view openings, the building is unique and fits only in the place where it is located.

rzut first floorrzut first floorrzut first floor

first floor plan

© Katarzyna Przybylo

The shelter has been divided into three main functional parts, highlighted by cutting the body with two courtyards and dividing the building into separate, independent components. Closest to the trail is the public building, which serves as a typical mountain hostel. It houses a public canteen with kitchen facilities, public toilets and multi-bedded rooms for Tatra tourists. There are also technical rooms and service rooms for employees who spend 24 hours a day at the facility. Another part is a space with limited access, which becomes public only during events held here. Here there is a multi-purpose room for forty-five people, a back room, restrooms for guests, a reception area with a foyer space, and a technical room for the ventilation and air-conditioning plant. This part of the establishment is single-story.

pokój jednoosobowy pokój grupowy

left: single room; right: group room

© Katarzyna Przybylo

The farthest from the trail, in the most secluded and inaccessible place for tourists, is the third part of the building: an intimate one, intended only for guests who want to stay longer on Przysłop Miętusim. Single rooms with bathrooms are spread over two floors, offering an amazing view of the Tatra Mountains. The residential floors are connected by a two-story hall with a complementary function of a reading room and resting space, illuminated by a linear skylight in the roof. In addition, on the first floor, in the most secluded area, there is a contemplation space with daybeds. All three parts are covered by a common green roof slope.

Katarzyna PRZYBYŁO

Illustrations: © Author

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