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Solid as simple as possible, that is Kulturoteka from XYstudio

25 of October '22

What should a modern cultural facility really contain? In addition to full use for statutory purposes, responsibility is important - also for the immediate surroundings. The Warsaw Kulturoteka located next to the Love Roundabout is to be such a facility.

The design of the XYstudio studio won first place in the competition, which we wrote about on our portal. The winning idea is to combine space for a community center and a library, to be a solution that is simple to the extreme and at the same time tidy up the surrounding disorder.

Podobnie jak w KIDO, projektanci z XYstudio sięgneli po drewno

As in KIDO, designers from XYstudio reached for wood

© XYstudio

We talk to Dorota Sibinska - architect and co-founder of XYstudio - about how Kulturoteka at the Love Roundabout affects the neighborhood and how it was designed.

Wiktor Bochenek: How did the surroundings influence the shape of the building?

Dorota Sibinska (XYstudio): The environment was difficult. On the one hand, an old school, to which a sports hall with a rather unusual form was added, on the other, the "Milosna" traffic circle, a terraced house, a church and the Mazovian Landscape Park cutting in with a wedge. This spatial chaos caused us to design a block as simple as possible, which would not compete with its surroundings. We tried to elegantly obscure the disorder and introduce some order. We opened the front elevation to the forest.

Wiktor: How were the functions of the building separated, also resulting from the spatial layout in which Kulturoteka was located?

Dorota: The layout of functions was detailed in the competition regulations. Here we have two independent users - a library and a community center. The first function was to be located on the first floor, the second on the other floors.

Wiktor: How was the wooden structure used here, combining it with concrete elements?

Dorota: The concrete elements in this type of wooden structure are stiffening shafts. With three stories, this is already significant. In addition, there is a lot of ambiguity in our Polish fire regulations when it comes to wooden structures. After our experience with the KIDO kindergarten , we decided that this was the last wooden staircase we designed. The concrete elements are additionally the platform on which the main part of the building will be built, and this is how it is usually done in this technology. Here we combined glulam construction (columns and stringers) with cross-laminated timber structure (CLT).

Bryła kulturoteki w założeniu miała być „maksymalnie prosta”

The body of the kulturoteka was intended to be "as simple as possible"

© XYstudio

Wiktor: What role did greenery play as an important element of the project?

Dorota: Since Kulturoteka is an educational facility, we wanted to talk a little about climate protection issues. We wanted the building to present a way of pro-environmental design in a visible way. Hence the installation of greenery on the façade using the principle of hydraulic leveller for watering, colorful supply pipes, and a clear design. We want everything to be "out there" in this building.

Victor: How was the immediate surroundings of the building designed?

Dorota: The area is very small, so we have two plazas including one multifunctional one and greenery. It has not been possible to expand the project area to include the school grounds for now, but time will tell what we can still do there. We are currently operating within the scope of our study, tentatively peeking outside its boundaries.

w kompleksie znajdziemy dom kultury i bibliotekę

The complex will include a community center and a library

© XYstudio

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

Dorota: The most difficult thing was urban planning and fitting the program into a three-story building. Such an architectural "tetris" was created. We are mainly proud of the fact that we won by designing the building without compromise, following our priorities.

Victor: Thank you for the interview!

interviewed by Wiktor Bochenek

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