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Center for Intercultural Dialogue in Warsaw. A project to spread the idea of equality

Dobrawa Bies
20 of January '23

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue in Warsaw is a project for a public building, a meeting place open to all, combining educational, exhibition and workshop functions. The author of the building, spreading the idea of equality, is {tag:studenci}, a graduate of the Wrocław University of Technology. The thesis, which is a master's degree, was included in the list of the Top 10 Best Graduates of the Faculty of Architecture of Wroclaw University of Technology in the academic year 2021/2022!

The awarded master's thesis was carried out under the direction of Paweł Kirschke, PhD.

The aim of the project was to create a place that demonstrates the value of cultural differences in an innovative way and enables the exchange of experiences and views between users. It is a meeting place for conveying the ideas of equality, tolerance, mutual understanding or respect," explains Anna Kosmala.

Budynek Centrum Dialogu Międzykulturowego charakteryzuje się prostą, monochromatyczną bryłą

The building of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue is characterized by a simple, monochromatic body

© Anna Kosmala

Dialogue and integration in Warsaw's Wola district

The PWr graduate carefully analyzed local and social needs and, based on them, proposed spatial solutions to enable safe dialogue and integration of users. She chose a site in Warsaw's Wola at the intersection of Wolska and Mlynarska streets as the building plot.

Projekt Centrum Dialogu Międzykulturowego, Plan Zagospodarowania Terenu

Project of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, Site Development Plan

© Anna Kosmala

Wola is one of the fastest growing districts of Warsaw, attractive due to its close proximity to the city center, very good public transportation and highly developed services. An important factor influencing the choice of the plot was to determine the conditions related to the object's audience. The center is aimed at Polish citizens, as well as representatives of ethnic, national, religious or social minorities. Poland is a country with an ever-increasing number of foreigners living there. Surveys indicate that the largest percentage of immigrants resides in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, particularly the area of the capital, which encourages visitors with many opportunities for development. Locating an object that fulfills the functions of a dialogue center in a large, diverse city would increase the reach of the message of mutual tolerance and potentially interest more people, the young architect justifies her choice.

 Projekt Centrum Dialogu Międzykulturowego, aksonometria Nad fragmentem pochylni prowadzącej do parkingu podziemnego zaprojektowany został zielony taras

The author tried to make the body of the building simple and universal

© Anna Kosmala

simple and universal form

Since the essence of the project is to spread the idea of equality and provide access for all interested parties, the author placed particular emphasis on the simplicity of form and the universal character of the space. The main body of the building is connected to lower structures, creating a stepped system.

A green terrace has been designed over a section of the ramp leading to the underground parking, which, passing from horizontal to vertical, connects to the structure of a vertical green wall. Stone slabs have been used on the facade, while two neon signs are a characteristic element, and the building's location in relation to the world's sides, provides optimal lighting conditions.

Schemat funkcjonalny Podział poziomów centrum

The building consists of five levels

© Anna Kosmala

forum, exhibition and display spaces

The architect divided the building into several functional zones, enabling comfortable use of the rooms by visitors, as well as efficient work of the staff.

The idea accompanying the creation of the functional-spatial program was to gradually increase the sense of individuality and security by giving successive levels a more intimate expression, explains Anna Kosmala.

Stefa wejściowa ma charakter forum z szerokimi schodami służącymi jako siedziska

The entrance stefa has the character of a forum with a wide staircase serving as seating

© Anna Kosmala

The three lowest above-ground floors are intended for educational and exhibition functions. The representative space intersecting with the entrance zone has the character of a forum - an easily accessible meeting place, open to dialogue. Characteristic features of this segment include a wide staircase with adapted seating that serves as an auditorium, two large exhibition halls and a lecture and conference hall.

Rzut poziomu 0 Centrum Dialogu rojekt Centrum Dialogu Międzykulturowego, rzut poziomu +1

plan of level 0 and +1

© Anna Kosmala

The next level is the user integration space. Within this floor are a library, a workshop and multipurpose room, administration rooms or a conference room.

minority assistance center

The top floor, on the other hand, is aimed at representatives of minorities, offering them various opportunities for assistance. It consists of a large multifunctional space, which in its basic layout is divided by sliding walls. The individual rooms form a co-working space for courses or training. The function is integrated with the minority assistance center located next door.

Ostatnie piętro przeznaczone jest dla przedstawicieli mniejszości

The top floor is intended for representatives of minorities

© Anna Kosmala

Depending on the needs depending on the current political and social situation, the multipurpose room can serve as temporary accommodation for forty people. This solution is ad hoc, and the center's mission is to help those in need find a permanent place to stay and work, the author adds.

Na elewacji zostały zastosowane kamienne płyty

Stone slabs have been used on the facade, and the building's roofs are green

© Anna Kosmala

An important aspect of the project is the use of ecological solutions. The architect has provided for mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, along with a ground heat exchanger working with it. In addition, she used a rainwater recovery and gray water recycling system, photovoltaic panels and introduced the already mentioned green wall and green roofs.

Read also about other student ideas for facilities conducive to dialogue - the Socratic Dialogue Center by Zuzanna Robutka and the competition design of the Center for Interfaith Dialogue by Alicja Kowalewska.

Dobrawa Bies

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