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Park-garden on Podchorążych Street in Kraków is getting closer to realization

19 of January '24

A public presentation of the design for a new park-garden to be built on the land belonging to the Faculty of Architecture of Krakow University of Technology at 1 Podchorążych Street was held at Krakow City Hall on January 19. However, the concept presented at the meeting, by the HSA Architektura studio, differs significantly from the one that won the October 2022 implementation competition for the design of the WA PK foreground. Why did the architects have to make changes to the design, what had been decided by then, and when will the project come to fruition?

Wizualizacje nowego parku w Krakowie

A new park in Krakow is likely to be built on Podchorążych Street

© HSA Architektura

The presentations at the Cracow City Hall were organized by councilman Grzegorz Stawowy, who also prepared a draft resolution for the Mayor of Cracow to help determine courses of action to realize the park-garden. From it we learn, among other things, that in order for the park to be created, Krakow University of Technology must transfer, or lease, the land to the city. If all goes well, the handover, along with a building permit, is planned for this summer. The next step will be a tender for implementation.

The area of the new park is 1.42 hectares. The area will connect with the Lobz Gardens park, which was handed over in 2015. In total, the parks will create almost 3 hectares of publicly accessible green space for residents.

Present at the meeting on the part of the organizer of the competition—Tadeusz Kościuszko Cracow University of Technology—were Prof. Andrzej Szarata, rector of PK and Dr. Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak, dean of WAPK and chairwoman of the competition, as well as the authors of the project from HSA Architektura studio.

Plansza projektowa wraz zagospodarowaniem terenu

© HSA Architektura

Competition for the foreground of Cracow University of Technology

We would like to remind you that the aim of the competition, which was settled on October 28, 2022, was: to create a project for the development of the area in front of the edifice of the Faculty of Architecture of the Krakow University of Technology at 1 Podchorążych Street (former Podchorążówka), which, among other things, will raise the aesthetic value and standard of the park's facilities while taking into account environmental aspects based onnature-based solutions.

Five projects were admitted to the competition, out of which the jury consisting of Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak, Ph.D., Borysław Czarakcziew (chairman of the Social Committee for Renovation of Krakow Monuments), Tomasz Kapecki, Ph.D., prof. PK (vice-rector for general affairs of Krakow University of Technology), prof. Tomasz Kozłowski (vice-dean of WA PK), Piotr Turkiewicz, Ph. Agata Zachariasz (WA PK), Grzegorz Stawowy (City Councilor of Krakow), Jarosław Tabor (Deputy Director of the Board of Urban Greenery in Krakow) Marek Szeniawski (SARP Warsaw Branch), Witold Zieliński (Vice Chairman of the Council of the Malopolska Regional Chamber of Architects) awarded three prizes and one honorable mention.

Wizualizacje nowego parku w Krakowie

visualization of the new park in Krakow after the changes

© HSA Architektura

The winner was the concept of the Wojciech Sumlet Archite ktura team (from HSA Architektura studio), composed of Dr. Wojciech Sumlet, Anna Czyż, Michalina Hallmann, Mikołaj Zamaryka, Maciej Pitek, Marta Lichaczewska. Marek Sanecki (Saneccy Architektura × Krajobraz) is responsible for landscape architecture.

As we read in the justification of the jury:

The award was given for clear solutions that take into account historical conditions, while having a modern character. The clear division into two types of space deserves a distinction. The first, with a large body of water, which is part of the genius loci, and at the same time inclusive, attractive, with expositional qualities and responding to contemporary environmental challenges. The second, constituting an expansive open meadow, inviting users for meetings and academic discussions. It should be emphasized the clear entrance from the corner, an interesting program of pro-environmental solutions and a high green wall, screening the gas station building, providing a good background for temporary exhibitions. A great value of the work is also an interesting solution of the parking zone.

Na terenie parku planowany jest zbiornik wodny

A water reservoir is planned in the park area

© HSA Architecture

changes in the design of the park

What has been going on since the competition was decided until now? The architects worked on revising the concept and developing a compromise and dialogue, as certain solutions had to change due to conservation decisions. The current proposal is less modern, the elevation of the site proposed in the competition concept has been eliminated, and the design itself emphasizes historical values more. The project at this point does not yet have a preservation permit.

Architekci zaplanowali sporo nasadzeń, różaneczników królewskich

The architects have planned a lot of plantings, including royal rhododendrons

© HSA Architecture

We are very happy to be involved in a project of such great social character [...]. We want to emphasize the history and at the same time give an adequate character to 2024, we have envisaged, among other things, a water reservoir for residents, covered places for bicycles, historical paths. Numerous plantings are planned—royal rhododendrons in the species Kazimierz the Great, Lokietek and Queen Bona. Parking spaces have been moved to level -1, so the entire front space will be made available to pedestrians. It is intended to be a meeting place for residents, students and employees, hopefully aparticipatory space ," said Dr. Wojciech Sumlet of HSA Architektura studio.

Importantly, the park will be open to the public and completely open, as the fence in front of the PK Polytechnic will be removed.

We want this place to be back on the green map of Krakow ," added Dr. Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak.

Zadaszony parking rowerowy

covered bicycle parking

© HSA Architecture

When is the project likely to be implemented?

I assume that in the 2025 budget the money for the project will be included and the tender for the implementation will be launched [...]. We hope that the implementation of the park will be possible in 2026," assured Grzegorz Stawowy.

Interestingly, Krakow University of Technology is currently conducting an international conceptual student competition Lobzów Courtyard for the design of a multi-purpose teaching building, which could be built on the site of the annex and garages at 1 Podchorążych Street and complement the park. The results will be announced as early as January 30 this year.

Dobrawa Bies

The vote has already been cast