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Wladyslaw Reymont Square in Zlotorya in a new look. First prize for students of the Silesian University of Technology

Dobrawa Bies
01 of September '21

Students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology - Michał Galuszka, Agata Goleśna, Julia Nikodem, Patryk Prychodko under the direction of Dr. Szymon Opania - won first prize in the competition for the development of an urban-architectural concept for the area of Wladyslaw Reymont Square in Zlotorya. Their work drew the jury's attention due to its well-thought-out design and interesting utilitarian and aesthetic solutions.

Plac w Złotryi, widok z lotu ptaka

New solutions for Reymont Square in Zlotorya

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, Ph.D. Szymon Opania

The competition for the new development of Reymont Square in Zlotorya, announced by the authorities of Zlotorya, was aimed at developing the best urban-architectural concept for the development of a part of the public areas in terms of composition and spatial and functional-utility, in the historical, cultural and social context of the city. The organizers wanted not only to maximize the use of the area, but also to create a public space here with high aesthetic standards. You can read about the guidelines, the composition of the jury and the results here.

plan zagospodarowania

The project involves, among other things, the introduction of greenery and good communication

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, Ph.D. Szymon Opania

The winning team from the Silesian University of Technology

Among the submitted works, the jury's attention was drawn to the project of students from the Silesian University of Technology, which ended up winning the main prize.

Our project assumes the use of a key space in the scale of the city and creating in this place a representative square for Zlotoryja, extending the continuity of greenery in the city, and above all creating a user-friendly space. The entire premise was based on detailed analyses of the immediate surroundings of the area under development, the authors say.

lac Władysława
Reymonta w Złotoryi, rozwiązania komunikacyjne

The authors wanted to create a user-friendly square, without architectural barriers

© Michał Gałuszka, Agata Goleśna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, PhD Szymon Opania

The design inspiration for the architects was the gold panning for which Zlotoryja is famous. The green spaces placed by the authors on the paved surface of the square refer to the gold particles scattered freely in the water. The main idea was to create a concept of a viewer-friendly square, without architectural barriers such as differences in terrain, curbs, increased vehicular traffic or overheating from the sun. In accordance with the idea of universal design , every user, regardless of physical condition, will be able to use all zones of the new square. The priority here was to restore the residents' leisure, meeting, integration or physical activity in the area.

Przekrój terenu

The architects took into account the view axes

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, Ph.D. Szymon Opania

Viewing axes, greenery and woonerf

One of the characteristic viewpoints in the city is the tower, emphasizing the historicity of the region, so in the project we created several view axes opening to this object. An important decision in the project is to turn the parking lot for cars into a thoroughfare that is a woonerf, which is highlighted by a line of trees. They are primarily responsible for maintaining comfortable temperatures on hot days and sustaining the continuity of greenery in the city, the authors explain.

The design team also wanted to leave as many existing elements of the square as possible. The bicycle shelter, streetlights and any plantings in the square remain in very good condition, which presented the authors with opportunities when creating the greenery statement.

Strefy funkcjonalne
placu w Złotoryi

functional zones of the square

© Michał Gałuszka, Agata Goleśna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, PhD Szymon Opania

functional zones

The development area was divided into characteristic functional zones. The architects assumed the enlargement of the area at the entrance zones to the tower and to the Zlotoryja Culture and Recreation Center (in front of its entrance it will be possible to organize thematic exhibitions) and the bus stop by moving the main vehicular route towards the square. These zones, due to their importance, are shaped in an orderly manner. The new square, due to its layout and recreational function, takes an organic form.

The spaces are connected by a woonerf - fully accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, who have priority over mechanized vehicles. The woonerf zone is highlighted by a row of trees, preserving the continuity of greenery in the city and protecting it from overheating.

Zestawienie zieleni

The project includes the introduction of diversified greenery

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, PhD Szymon Opania

An important element is a meeting and recreation zone located in the main square, whose users have 500 square meters of paved area at their disposal. The space is surrounded by a cascading staircase, formed in such a way as to best influence social integration and communication. On the axis facing the tower is a new statue of Wladyslaw Reymont, which has taken on the scale of a man. The sculpture of the writer was placed on a bench facing the tower. In this way, the authors wanted to create a new landmark, which, in connection with the historic site, will become a recognizable frame of Zlotorya. In the area of the zone were also placed retention basins with hydrophytic plants, which are responsible for collecting excess water from paved surfaces.

Zielony bufor lac Władysława Reymonta
w Złotoryi, hipsometria terenu

The authors also focused on leveling the area, introducing appropriate lighting and a greenery buffer

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, Ph.D., Szymon Opania

changing hypsometry of the terrain

Differences in ground level, are currently the most troublesome architectural barrier in the study area. The students' project envisages leveling the floor from the beginning of the site boundaries at ZOKiR, up to the contour of the cascade stairs, while maintaining the minimum slopes of the site to allow rainwater runoff into the green areas and retention basins.

In this way, we will dispense with any overhangs, curbs and divisions of the pavement in terms of weight. The excavated soil will be used to form a greenery buffer isolating the plaza space from car traffic at the Zlotyhori traffic circle. In addition, cascading benches will be built into it on the side of the square, facing the tower and the entire establishment, the design team explains.

communication and greenery buffer

Reymont Square in Zlotyrya is the focal point where all the routes intersect. Therefore, the authors tried to make sure that all pedestrian routes were routed in such a way that from any place in the square users could walk in the direction of their interest, but without the possibility of taking shortcuts. The possibility of passing buses and firefighters is done using the woonerf zone while maintaining the current directions of travel.

Centralny punkt placu

The open space of the square can be used in any way one wishes

© Michal Galuszka, Agata Golesna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, Ph.D. Szymon Opania

The entire plaza has been protected by a surpassing buffer of greenery, which isolates users from noise and pollution produced by vehicles. Diverse greenery has been proposed that can filter the air and will reduce the level of pollution near the square. The overgrowth of the ground, combined with plantings on the south side, will quiet the pile area and create favorable shade on hot days.

The architects also envisioned the use of existing lighting and the introduction of a new type of lamp in the form of lower lighting of flat areas at all walkways. All benches and bus shelters will be supplemented with aesthetically pleasing LED lighting, which further introduces signage and identification of the place after dark.

Plac w Złotoryi

Wladyslaw Reymont Square could become a landmark of Zlotorya

© Michał Gałuszka, Agata Goleśna, Julia Nikodem,
Patryk Prychodko, PhD Szymon Opania

showcase of the city

The team hopes that its universal approach to design, the introduction of additional integration spaces combined with greenery and historic buildings will make the place recognizable in the region.

The open form of the square gives the space to be used in any way. It will also give Zlotoryja a chance to host gatherings, exhibitions or speeches scheduled for at least several hundred people. The dominant colors in the juxtaposition of vegetation are yellow and green, which harmonizes with the city and its coat of arms, and the identity of the place, is influenced by the compositional arrangement with a viewing axis directed at the tower, the authors conclude.


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