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Gliwice marina project with three awards

Dobrawa Bies
02 of June '21

Tomasz Wegrzyn, a graduate of the Silesian University of Technology, created a project for a marina in Gliwice that is the Center for Tourism and Water Education. The idea for the development of the Gliwice harbor received an honorable mention in the international competition UnIATA '21. The work also won two second prizes in competitions: BIM Project 2020 in the public buildings category and in the Gliwice Mayor's competition for the best thesis.

Since the early 19th century, there was a port in the very center of Gliwice. It not only had a logistical function, it was also, as shown in historical photos and engravings, one of the places where the city's residents could meet by the water. In the same way, the former Klodnicki Canal and its picturesque shores made it possible to take walks and spend time near the water. Today, these places no longer serve their original function. Tomasz Wegrzyn has decided to restore the recreational functions of the place by creating a marina in Gliwice.

At the same time, this is an opportunity to give the Gliwice Canal a heterogeneous character by using it for both transportation and recreational purposes, and to revitalize dehumanized post-industrial areas, the author says.

w Gliwicach i port

The project is built around the port basin

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

mental well-being architecture

Since the site has a variety of functions and elements that make up the marina complex program, it became necessary to clearly define its new identity. After conducting an analysis, Tomasz Wegrzyn determined that the most important goal would be to create a place that allows le isure and relaxation, both active and passive. A place that promotes relaxation not only through its function, but also through its architecture.

w Gliwicach, plan zagospodarowania terenu

The author wanted to restore recreational functions to the port area in Gliwice

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

The basis of my design process was based on literature research in the fields of architectural psychology, environmental psychology, space perception and the impact of the various elements and ways of shaping space on the individuals and communities residing in it. The features extracted from this research, had the greatest impact on the final form of the proposed building," explains the architect.

fractal structure

The author took the harbor pool as the starting point of the project. Around it he arranged cubic elements, separating internal and external spaces, which, interpenetrating with each other, form an organic patchwork. The resulting openwork provides free access to the canal from all sides and connections between the center, green areas and infrastructure, which function as affordances of the environment.

Marina w Gliwicach,
schematy projektowe

The designed elements form an organic patchwork

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

The arrangement of the solids was inspired by the fractal structure found in nature. This created an organized disorder, which contributes to the perception of the object as a more natural form, creating a healthy human living environment. The way the fractal structure works also allowed the author to hierarchize outdoor spaces according to their level of privacy. By abandoning the designation of a single representative entrance to the "edifice building" in favor of multiple equivalent ways of exploring the space of the "compilation building," the modes and routes of communication were democratized. Light and shadow, shaped by the porous canopy that covers the first floor, function here as immaterial partitions that demarcate space in such a way as to draw users to significant, exposed locations.

w Gliwicach rozczłonkowana bryła

The buildings have the form of cuboidal structures

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

disjointed mass

Despite the great complexity of the entire structure, the individual cubic elements that make it up have been reduced to very simple cuboid elements, honoring one of the defining features of architecture conducive to subjective well-being, in the form of a cognitively easy to perceive, simple form, the author adds.

w Gliwicach, rzut parteru

The arrangement of the solids was inspired by the fractal structure found in nature

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

The dismemberment of the solids has a beneficial effect on the perception of the object's scale, and also makes it possible to change its character depending on the seasons and the needs that follow. An equally important issue for the author was to maintain consistency, legibility and identity of individual functions. Accordingly, the horizontal functional layout is based on a clear separation of three main zones corresponding in turn to the education center, the hotel and the marina. The priority in shaping the vertical functional layout, on the other hand, was to separate the activity-centered elements and deploy them on the first floor, so that a lively activity center would be created. On the first floor, functions for which privacy and minimizing noise are important, such as hotel and hostel rooms, were envisaged.

w Gliwicach, dach bagienny

An interesting feature is the swamp roof

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

materials affecting the senses

The author has treated the diverse context of the site with great respect. Unfavorable factors, contributing to increased tension and stress, such as noise, were separated by a barrier created by the organization of landscaping elements. Desirable factors supporting regeneration, on the other hand, were highlighted. Interference with the historic technical infrastructure of the canal was minimized by optimizing the area of the harbor basin. It was also important to the architect to restore the natural qualities of the former floodplain of the Klodnica River. He achieved this by creating a marsh roof that blends into the landscape, and used rush vegetation and water to separate the space around the building.

Marina w Gliwicach widok
z góry

The author minimized interference with the historic technical infrastructure of the canal

© Tomasz Węgrzyn

When selecting materials, important factors were their impact on the environment, but also their effect on the users' senses, through tactile, visual, auditory stimuli or the microclimate created. Therefore, most of them are wood derivatives, including glulam construction or thermal insulation made of wood fiber, says Tomasz Wegrzyn about the materials used.

Konstrukcja budynku
wykonana z drewna

The structure is made of cross-laminated timber

© Tomasz Wegrzyn

The structure, despite its apparent freedom, is strictly subordinated to the modular grid. Its most important elements are the load-bearing walls made of cross-laminated timber (functioning as disks on the first floor), the wooden grid forming the structure of the floor slab that covers the first floor, and the volumes on the first floor with a lightweight frame structure.

The award-winning project was carried out as an engineering diploma in the Department of Residential and Public Utility Architecture Design under the direction of Dr. Grzegorz Nawrot, Prof. PŚ.

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