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Malwina Nowak - "Chapel of Solitude".

02 of November '21
Technical data
Type: undergraduate thesis
Year of defense: 2020
Author: Malwina Nowak
Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. J. Matejki w Krakowie, Faculty of Interior Design, 2nd Interior Design Studio

Dr. Małgorzata Zbroińska-Piątek

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2020/2022".

Reflecting on the problems of the modern world, I looked at loneliness, or rather the lack of it. From all sides we are bombarded with a lot of stimuli and information, which do not allow us for a moment to disconnect from the life around us. We are unable to focus fully on our thoughts, feelings, and appreciate the basic factors of nature. The Chapel of Solitude was created as a response to this lack. It is a place without religious or environmental markers. It is a space where each of us can appreciate the hitherto insignificant and unnoticed things, focus on the present, soothe our nerves and find refuge.

Kaplica Samotności,
widok z zewnątrz

Chapel of Solitude - view from outside

© Malwina Nowak

The word "loneliness" is associated by most with feelings of abandonment and alienation. Among the many phenomena accompanying loneliness, the most common are anxiety, abandonment, emptiness or despair. The very thought of loneliness evokes negative emotions. Loneliness is a fundamental human being and an apriori structure of human self-awareness.

Kaplica Samotności, widok
z zewnątrz

The author created a project based on spatial interventions

© Malwina Nowak

We need to understand it and possibly accept it. When it becomes self-awareness, which takes a physical form or a form of mind-set, we begin to associate it with pleasant and appreciated phenomena, such as uniqueness, creativity, individuality, authenticity.

Samotności”, rzuty

Chapel of Solitude - projections

© Malwina Nowak

I wanted to create a project based on visible spatial interventions, at the same time strongly connected to natural phenomena. It should blend in and harmonize with its surroundings, and sometimes fade into the landscape, depending on the point of observation. The same happens with people who enter the interior - at times they appear, at other times they disappear from view, hiding in the densities of concrete walls, while having a perspective open to the landscape in front of them. Here, nature creates the mood and atmosphere, as the most important factor provoking the variability of the space is light.

Kaplica samotności,

The Chapel of Solitude represents an alternating rhythm of voids and solid elements

© Malwina Nowak

The form of the building is simple, from the outside it brings to mind a crossed cuboid with sharp corners. It represents an alternating rhythm of voids and solid elements - non-contiguous concrete walls. Each of them is unique because of unique jaggedness resembling rocks. Light is arranged differently on each of these unusual surfaces, and each time of day and year brings a different drawing of sun-scorched or rain-drenched streaks. Windy days bring a swish between the forms. One who enters here experiences the forces of nature focused as if through a lens.

Samotności”, detal konstrukcji

The whole is set on a reinforced concrete base

© Malwina Nowak

The entire structure is set on a reinforced concrete base partially extending from the quay above the water surface of the Lagoon. Inside there are three hollow interior spaces of different sizes. One central one with a larger area and two smaller ones. In each of them we can stop and sit on the seats, which have been created by appropriately shaping the walls, taking into account the
the possibility of sitting alone or in groups.

Kaplica Samotności,

the mood of the interior depends on the time of day, the weather and the seasons

© Malwina Nowak

The character of the building is monumental and austere. The mood of the interior depends on the time of day, weather or seasons. Passing through Samotnia is a road that at first does not show what awaits us and what we are heading for. Gradually, it reveals its face to finally open completely to the view, and the person passing through to the sensations. It is simultaneously a physical (entering the Chapel, we do not see the end of it) and mental journey. It refers to the contemplative trend (solitude in physical or inner, mental form), whose representatives, among others, were Nietzsche and Sartre. It is a journey that each of us should experience and return to again and again.

Malwina NOWAK

Illustrations: © Author

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