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Elementary school and kindergarten in Zory

01 of November '19
Technical data
Type: engineering thesis
Year of defense: 2019
Author: Magdalena Opania
Faculty of Architecture, Silesian University of Technology
Dr. Jan Kubec

The subject of the project is a two-stream elementary school with a kindergarten. The building is located at the intersection of Folwarecka and Mila streets in Zory, Upper Silesia. The plot intended for development is located to the southwest of the historic center of the city, on the site of a former brickyard. The area is adjacent to single-family housing to the north and west, and to the east and south to recreational areas and green space. Currently it is an undeveloped area with a small number of trees.

sytuacja „logo” – zarys brył

outline of the blocks

© Magdalena Opania

The shape of the designed school and kindergarten complex was adjusted to the irregular shape of the plot and consists of five two-story buildings with repeated dimensions (33.5×13.5 m, height: 8 m), one of which has a basement, and another has a basement and a playground on the roof. They were connected by a single-story building on a circular plan with a diameter of 42 meters and a height of 4.5 meters, also equipped with an underground section.

The main idea of the project was to adapt the complex to the appropriate age groups: kindergarten and grades 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8, as well as to separate the sports part, giving the possibility to rent it after school hours and during free days. The division into age groups is also intended to reflect the diversity of alternative forms of teaching provided for the appropriate age, such as the Reggio Emilia method - for kindergarten, the Montessori method - for elementary school and the Harkness method - for grades 7-8. These methods determine the architectural solutions characterized by a different spatial layout, equipment and organization. The whole complex is united by a common part, accessible to all its users, which is a space for integration, and the projection on a circular plan is designed to strengthen this function.

przekrój A–A

cross-section A-A

© Magdalena Opania

The different parts of the complex were oriented in the north-south direction, in which the school blocks were located, and east-west, used to determine the main axes of communication on the plot, and thus the entrances to the building. This arrangement made it possible to create a barrier on the side of Mila Street in order to open up the southeastern part and connect it to the existing green and recreational areas. Separated blocks separate schoolyards adapted to the relevant age groups.

The existing terrain was also taken into account and an amphitheater was created, as well as small terrain stairs and ramps. A parking lot has been located on the west side, on Mila Street. The main entrance to the building is located on the east to allow access to the school for residents of the neighborhood and to facilitate students' access to nearby recreational areas. An entrance from the west, provided for those using the parking lot, has also been designed.

i inspiracja

idea and inspiration

© Magdalena Opania

Four main functional zones can be distinguished in the complex: common, sports, education and service. The first is emphasized by a circular outline and located on the first floor and in the underground storey, with which it is connected by a mezzanine. The first floor provides for an auditorium in the form of an amphitheater, a library with a reading room and group work area, and an administrative area. On the other hand, an exhibition area, a canteen, a store, a local government room, an art workshop, a theater workshop and a checkroom are planned for the underground floor. Also accessible from this level is the sports area - a gymnasium with bleachers. Other exercise rooms are located on the upper floors and accessible from the ground level. The entire sports block closes with a pitch on the roof. The main function - educational - is designed on the ground and first floors, respectively, taking into account the age of students, and is divided into individual blocks.

The complex is shaped in the form of a geometric composition consisting of five repetitive blocks with a rectangular plan and a circle being the center of the whole. The places where the circle and orthogonal elements meet are marked by changes in the material used to shape the outline of the rectangular block. The effect of the interpenetration of cubes and circle was enhanced by the difference in height - the central part was lowered in relation to the others by one story. The synthetic record of the projection also indicates the creation of natural barriers from unfavorable factors, such as a busy road.

Magdalena OPANIA

© Author

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