The Malopolska Garden of Art on Rajska Street in Cracow won first place in the Public Utility Architecture category in the 7th edition of the competition for the Stanislaw Witkiewicz Malopolska Voivodship Award. Below we recall the awarded project.
In the center of Krakow, between Rajska and Szujskiego streets, architects from Ingarden & Ewý studio designed a unique cultural center. The starting point for the design of the Malopolska Garden of Art (MOS) was a multifunctional hall, which was inscribed in the outline of a 19th century horse riding hall, used in its final years as storage and workshop facilities of the J. Slowacki Theater in Krakow.
© Ingarden & Ewý Architects
The architects were guided by the idea of contextual design, in which, in order to achieve an individual, modern form, they simultaneously tried not to destroy the historical character of the place. The building, which has a T-shaped floor plan, is divided into two parts: the wing facing Szujskiego Street houses a multimedia library-arteteque that collects multimedia resources of books and music, while the part facing Rajska Street is occupied by a theater, for which a multifunctional auditorium with a characteristic giant skylight equipped with automatically sliding blinds was created. Both parts from the outside are connected by an openwork façade composed of a composition of vertical ceramic elements.
cross-sections A-A and B-B
© Ingarden & Ewý Architects
The building's form is a contextual play between "continuation and creation," "mimesis and abstraction," while falling close to the architectural trend broadly defined by Kenneth Frampton as Critical Regionalism. In practice, this means that the building draws inspiration from the form code of the context by referring to the geometry of roofs and the material of neighboring buildings, which were used in the geometric compositions of the facades. The building fits precisely into the scale of its surroundings by keeping the roof line and elevation divisions in line with the course and composition of the walls of neighboring buildings, the project description reads.
The entrance to the Malopolska Garden of Art from the side of Rajska Street
photo: Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre
The new hall, which functions as a theater-studio, conference, concert and banquet-exhibition hall, features sliding stages designed for three hundred people. Above the heads of the audience, under a steel ceiling inspired by the old girders of an old riding school, state-of-the-art stage equipment has been attached to point-like winches. In total, an area of more than four thousand square meters accommodated a theater room and an intimate cinema room for nearly a hundred people, a cafeteria and rooms where educational classes can be held.