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"NEIGHBORWOOD" - Student project to integrate seniors in Gliwice

18 of April '24

Nowadays, as the pace of life accelerates and technology becomes an integral part of our daily functioning, it is easy to forget about the elderly. However, more and more young people are realizing that they are an important part of society and their well-being should be taken care of. This awareness leads to the creation of places, improving the quality of life of seniors and integrating them into local communities. Students of the Silesian University of Technology - Julia Bugajska and Izabela Bonk - designed small architecture in one of Gliwice's neighborhoods. "NEIGHBORWOOD" is an attractive meeting center in a residential area.



© Julia Bugajska, Izabela Bonk

action - integration

The conceptual space near the residential blocks responds to the needs of the local community. Concentrated around a community garden, the arrangement of wooden beams creates a friendly meeting place not only for residents, but also for birds, insects and hedgehogs. The overriding idea of the project was to create a facility that integrates seniors with nature, animals and others. A circular form was used, referring to a felled tree trunk, which not only reflects the title wood, but also fosters numerous neighborhood interactions. The central layout facilitates eye contact and communication between users.



© Julia Bugajska, Izabela Bonk


Today's seniors struggle with a sense of not belonging to society, feelings of loneliness and monotony. These difficulties have a significant impact on their well-being and quality of life. "NEIGHBORWOOD" provides an opportunity to engage in an activity centered around a communal vegetable garden, providing a space for both relaxation and activation. By taking care of the plants, planting new vegetables or flowers, residents have a chance to feel like co-creators of the reality around them.



© Julia Bugajska, Izabela Bonk


The main part of the project is the aforementioned vegetable garden, but the surrounding structure also plays an important role. It acts as a wall or screen, providing a sense of privacy and security, while encouraging the use of the space, thanks to the openwork nature that connects the project to its surroundings. The designed structure also has many other functions, making it not only practical, but also interactive. In addition to additional pots for flowers or herbs, there are insect hotels, nesting boxes, bird feeders, and book shelves. This variety of elements fosters exchanges between residents, resulting in improved social interaction and relationship building.

domki dla owadów i ptaków

Insect and bird houses

© Julia Bugajska, Izabela Bonk

An important element of the project is also an information board, used to record the people responsible for caring for the garden and the activities undertaken on its behalf. In addition to information, concerning the garden itself, it is possible to put on it important matters for the community, such as the birthdays of its members, meeting dates or favorite recipes. The board becomes not only an organizational tool, but also a place to exchange information and celebrate life events together.

przekrój podłużny

longitudinal cross section

© Julia Bugajska, Izabela Bonk

The "NEIGHBORWOOD" project becomes a kind of urban haven where seniors have a chance to feel needed and appreciated. It is this community that can give them a sense of belonging, responsibility and fulfillment.

Aleksandra Skorupa

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