Surrounded by forests and fields, not far from the Warta River, is the Osjakow settlement resort. It consists of year-round, larch cottages and apartments inspired by Scandinavian style. It is here that children can discover the joy of playing outdoors, and parents can revisit memories of vacations spent with their grandparents in the countryside.
A&B: How did your adventure begin?
Magdalena Bartkowiak: We started designing the Settlement in 2009, when we got a plot of land in the woods from our parents, but I think the project of the Settlement was already forming in our heads earlier. The place is the result of our memories and expectations for vacations. My husband has close friends in Sweden, as a child he used to spend vacations with them, I used to spend my vacations in the countryside with my grandparents in the Lublin region. During our studies, we worked in the tourism and catering industry abroad, including in the United States at a hotel near Yellowstone Park, whose rooms were wooden cottages. We also worked in the English countryside in a pub with rooms for rent furnished in a restored 19th century building. As we were finishing our studies, there were still not many places in Poland that we knew from our foreign travels. Shortly after graduating in 2004, we settled in Gdynia and began renting apartments to summer visitors in 2006. We lasted two years in the city, drawn to the countryside. With the experience of running a short accommodation in the Tri-City, we had little trouble running the office. The settlement was and is a continuation of our earlier business from Gdynia. I did the conceptual design myself, as I am an architect by training.
The cottages and apartments are located in close proximity to each other
© Osada Osjaków
A&B: What were the most difficult moments of creating Osada?
Magdalena Bartkowiak: The most difficult moments during the creation of the Settlement came after the construction process was completed. After submitting the documents, when the formality was the decision on approval for use, we unexpectedly received an objection from the building supervision. After 11 months we won the battle with the officials, it turned out that the objection of the lady from the PINB was part of the fight inside the district administration. And we as investors suffered... It was a moment when instead of rejoicing at the completed investment, we wondered about the sense of functioning in Poland. Now, fortunately, things are better in the offices and we are not eager to return to the past.
larch olevation houses
© Osoda Osjaków
A&B: What was particularly important to you in creating this place?
Magdalena Bartkowiak: The settlement operates all year round, in summer and on weekends. We mainly host families with children, and in the off-season during the week, companies hold team-building meetings and small training sessions at our place. When designing, we had to take into account the expectations of these two groups. Taking into account the stays of families with children, we wanted to create an intimate space that is easily accessible and safe. We wanted children to find the joy of free play with us, and parents to be reassured of their safety. The prospect of organizing training and integration meetings forced us to arrange a common space. Part of this common space is an inner courtyard, a playground and a common room with a large terrace. During company meetings, the common room serves as a dining room, training room and meeting room.
The buildings are designed to blend in with the surrounding forest
© Osjak settlement
Proximity to nature - the forest and direct contact with it - was also very important. We wanted each building to have its own terrace/loggia from which, everyone would be able to have contact with the surroundings. The buildings were to blend in with the surrounding forest, so we decided on a wooden larch facade and woodwork in a warm shade. The masses were to be simple, modest without unnecessary details. We wanted the architecture to be reminiscent of those built in Scandinavia, and for the individual buildings to stand in close proximity to each other, creating a settlement, or perhaps a homestead evoking memories of vacations in the countryside.
A&B: Where did you get the idea for such an interior design?
Magdalena Bartkowiak: The idea for the interiors was simple - white walls, wooden floors, color variation of the buildings, referring to their names, furniture and decorations in Scandinavian style. We wanted the interiors to be well-lit and the view from the windows to be part of it.
A&B: How do you want your guests to feel here?
Magdalena Bartkowiak: Our guests are supposed to feel close to nature, calm, freedom and security here. We would like children to find the joy of playing outdoors in the woods, and parents to find the joy of watching their children and recalling childhood memories of vacations spent with grandparents in the countryside.