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Laura Korach - "Infill building at Zbawiciela Square in Warsaw"

13 of January '23
Technical data
Type: engineering thesis
Year of defense: 2022
Author: Laura Korach
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Warszawskiej

Pawel Grodzicki

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

The subject of the work is a small urban infill located at Zbawiciela Square in Warsaw. The project touches on the subject of filling in the gaps in the urban tissue, showing that there is great potential hidden in unused and seemingly non-functional plots of land.

square development       site development with first floor plan

site development with first floor plan

© Laura Korach

The project consists of filling the lack in the northwest frontage of the square and complementing the historic urban layout at which it is located the Stanisławowska Axis. The current state of the quarter contrasts with the original details of the historic Domański building, which is adjacent to the plot under development. The inner courtyard is an unused and neglected space.

Facade from Zbawiciela Square

Facade from Zbawiciela Square

© Laura Korach

Zbawiciela Square has hosted a variety of events over the years, shaping this piece of the city. Religious processions, social protests, political rallies are regularly held here, the place is very active socially and artistically. As a result of the analysis, the idea of creating a rotating pavilion for social initiatives emerged. The building will serve as temporary headquarters for a particular organization, foundation or art gallery. Settling in such a place allows direct dialogue with the community by organizing events such as workshops, lectures or happenings. The activities of the unit, due to its positive social impact, can be supported by relevant authorities.

view of the building from the Zbawiciela square       view of the building from the inner courtyard

View of the building from Zbawiciela Square and the inner courtyard

© Laura Korach

The courtyard development project involves the placement of an additional ten trees at regular intervals, which will create a green, peaceful oasis. The inner courtyard is accessible from three sides: from a passageway under the MDM tenement, a gate in the tenement at Marszałkowska 41 and a passageway in the first floor of the designed pavilion. On the axes of these gate passages, a culminating element in the form of a circular bench was designed. The rim of the seat is divided on the axes of the entrances and intertwines with the trees.

1st floor plan       2nd floor plan

1st and 2nd floor plans

© Laura Korach

The urban design of the northwest frontage of the square has resulted in a completely different perception of the space when observing the developed plot from different sides. Depending on the point from which we look at it, it seems narrower, wider or even invisible. Such a distinctive location and the peculiarity of the plot make the building a kind of urban event, a spatial sculpture that, when viewed from different perspectives, generates a different visual experience. To this end, the geometry of the walls was used, the refractions of which let the observer's gaze into the depths of the object. The character of the sculpture is emphasized by the material used. The exterior and interior facades are clad in white Corian® panels, making the building seem like a white block with hollowed-out floors. The whiteness of the building makes the structure an inset element that stands out against the neighboring buildings.

3rd floor plan       terrace plan

plans of the 3rd floor and terrace

© Laura Korach

The architecture shows the potential to create social and spatial phenomena. The designed curvatures of the walls create a scenographic effect, causing the user to feel a certain subconscious imperative, influencing their behavior and the way they move through the space. Moreover, the curvatures of the walls define the functions on a given floor.

The designed volume provides a link and a kind of buffer. The building welds together two different buildings from other historical eras. Through the open first floor, moreover, it connects a hitherto neglected and unnoticed courtyard with Zbawiciela Square.

Interior view of the terrace towards Zbawiciela Square

Interior view of the terrace in Saviors Square

© Laura Korach


Illustrations: © Author

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