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Paulina Pawlikowska - "Revitalization of the brine baths in Ciechocinek".

18 of July '22
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Author: Paulina Pawlikowska (Pernak)
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Warszawskiej

Prof. Jan Słyk

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture".

High fines for smartphone gazers. Demand for phones without color screens and internet. Increasing numbers of people in treatment for Internet addiction. These are facts that show that information overload and addiction to devices that provide us with constant access to information are pressing problems in modern society.

widok z lotu ptaka

bird's eye view

© Paulina Pawlikowska

The idea behind the creation of the saline pools designed by Romuald Gutt and Alexander Shniolis was to serve humanity, an attempt to create an environment to help solve the then health problems of society through sports, access to light, greenery, fresh air. Back then, people needed sunshine to cope with vitamin D deficiency, rickets or tuberculosis. Now we need sunshine, views, contact with greenery to improve mental comfort and cope with modern problems.

The goal of the revitalization is to bring the dead facility back to life - by referring to Gutt's main ideas, but in response to contemporary problems in society, especially information overload. To create a new-generation spa facility, whose form and atmosphere will allow a break from everyday problems and dreariness; to create an environment that stimulates recovery through a variety of architectural treatments.

rzut, schematy powiązań widokowych i funkcji

projection, diagrams of view links and functions

© Paulina Pawlikowska

thermal-saline pool complex

Passing through the changing room building, one crosses a certain boundary, enters another world, a mysterious garden. The historic path of impressions designed by Gutt is preserved. Passing through a clearance in the wall, one emerges into an open landscape. The space beyond the gate is a place to stimulate the senses and disconnect from everyday life. The user passes through a series of multisensory spaces, where salt baths, inhalations, drinking mineral water, relaxing in the salt grotto or on a deck chair await. The architecture, through its multitude of textures, use of natural materials, framing of the view, view openings and closings, enhances the sensations and helps focus on the here and now. The timeline, once past the historic locker room building, lengthens.

fragment środowiska ukształtowanego przez architekta, nakryty dachem

A fragment of the environment shaped by the architect, covered by a roof

© Paulina Pawlikowska

The new pool building is a labyrinth of different experience spaces. It begins with the terraces of the locker rooms, and through a series of gradually rising walls, it transitions into the form of a building covered with a roof. The multilevel nature of the space directly relates to the way Gutt's pools are built. The juxtaposition of the walls allows the separation of spaces with different functions, while maintaining openness and fluidity of communication. The walls, made mainly of rammed earth or which are either braces or wooden structures filled with salt, separate dry and wet spaces, open and closed, and help steam rise. The building is shaped so that the user has constant contact with the outdoors. Large glazing, view corridors and skylights open up to the surrounding landscape.

przestrzeń a światło

space vs. light

© Paulina Pawlikowska

An important factor in creating the building's atmosphere is the play of light and shadow. Delving deeper and deeper into the structure of the labyrinth, we pass through spaces with different light intensities, which becomes a sensory experience. The perception of successive corners of the labyrinth changes depending on the time of day, the weather, the way the steam rises.

korytarz widokowy, inhalacje

viewing corridor, inhalation

© Paulina Pawlikowska


The park between the graduation towers provides an opportunity for dynamic stress relief, encourages physical activity, which has a positive effect on the human psyche. The vegetation of the low floor of the park is mainly lawns and halophytes with purple coloration reminiscent of heath.

kolorystyka ogrodu i roślinność parku

color of the garden and vegetation of the park

© Paulina Pawlikowska

Along the perimeter of the park, along the graduation tower, where the therapeutic aerosol is most abundant, a sports path was planned. This is because physical activity speeds up blood circulation and the absorption of more aerosol. Along the running and walking paths, points of various activities are arranged, accessible to everyone. Other spaces connected by a network of paths create places of relaxation.
Today's human needs are very different from those of the time the facility was built. The present project is therefore intended to bring it back to life - it draws on the aforementioned ideas of Romuald Gutt, but also responds to contemporary problems of society, in particular information overload.

wizualizacja łaźni

visualization of the bathhouse

© Paulina Pawlikowska

Modernism as a rather fresh and groundbreaking epoch differs significantly from other trends in architecture. The rules for the preservation of modernist objects are not strictly defined, and working with such substance requires an individual approach of the architect and deep research of the context surrounding the object.


Illustrations: © Author

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