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Space of creative freedom. Youth Center student project awarded.

21 of July '22

Canada'sArc Ace magazine organized an international student competition titled Nature Inspired Youth Centre, whose challenge was to design a Youth Center in hilly Coquitlam. The proposed building, designed for young people between the ages of 14 and 19, was to be inspired by nature and incorporate biophilic elements. The {tag:studenci} from the Silesian University of Technology also submitted its proposal titled Tree House and received third prize!

Kawiarnia ze specjalnie zaprojekowanymi meblami

also the interiors have organic forms

© Maria Feliszewska

The competition sentence, in addition to designing the building itself, was to connect it to nature - a dense forest surrounding the site on three sides, consisting mainly of red cedar and Douglas fir trees. The design area was 2,500 square meters, and participants were to use natural materials, green living walls and roofs, and shapes with organic forms in the design. An important element was to propose a program for young people - conducive to development, cooperation, learning, play and sports.

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, zagospodarowanie terenu Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, rzut 1. kondygnacji

The task was to connect the building with nature - the author decided to preserve all the trees on the plot

© Maria Feliszewska

polish students in the finals!

Of the submitted projects, the jury awarded five Grand Prizes. The third and fourth prizes went to Polish students. Tree House designed by Maria Faliszewska from the Silesian University of Technology won third prize, and the Underground Center project by Daria Wróbel and Mateusz Zwierzchowski from the Poznan University of Technology, received fourth prize!

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, elewacja

the building was designed on an elevated

© Maria Feliszewska

I based the Tree House project on a number of site analyses, on the basis of which, the body of the building was inscribed in the existing ecosystem. One of the main assumptions was to preserve the tall trees with which the plot is densely covered. Because of this, the lump of the building spills into the space between the trees, creating an irregular shape. Considering the volume of the building, some of the existing trees go through the entire floor and create a unique interior space. Due to the protection of the root systems, I used pile foundations throughout the building," says Maria Faliszewska.

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, schemat kształtowania bryły

© Maria Feliszewska

in harmony with nature

In order to make the first floor accessible to users and allow free passage to the forest and park, with which the plot is surrounded, the author raised the building by one story. This procedure, she says, was inspired by modernist architecture. Thanks to the elevation of the building, the ecosystem on the ground floor of the plot has been preserved, and its illumination is taken care of by numerous openings in the storey. On level 0 there are only communication and social arbors. One of them is closer to the access road, while the other is near the park, where directly from the path one can enter the interior of the building. There, seating is made available for young people and walkers, as well as an educational path, located in the shaded part of the terrace and made of fluorescent paint.

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, schemat funkcjonalny kondygnacji 1.

functional division

© Maria Feliszewska

open spaces and creative development

The building's function was inspired by the history of Canada and its indigenous people. My additional goal was to complement the school education of young people with craft aspects and creative development ," explains the author.

The student proposed rooms for ceramics, drawing and DIY. Young people can also use the music room, theater room and cafeteria. There are, of course, rooms for study and leisure group activities. All of these spaces are open.

Wnętrze przestrzeni wspólnej

The open interior of the common space

© Maria Feliszewska

Children are supposed to inspire each other, learn from each other and pass on the knowledge acquired to others. At the same time, this does not exclude classes organized by experienced people. The aspect of the open space, which is temporarily closed off by sliding glass partitions, also makes it possible to maintain order and security throughout the facility, Maria says.

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, schemat funkcjonalny kondygnacji 2.

The roof serves many functions

© Maria Feliszewska

A roof for bird watching

Only essential rooms, such as the communal kitchen, sanitary facilities, storerooms and offices, have been separated from the rest. The author, with the mental health of the youth in mind, proposed psychological offices. In addition, she has also introduced a solitary room that allows for free prayer, regardless ofreligion. Users of the Youth Center can also use the roof, which is designed for recreation. It features a periodic outdoor cinema, a space to spend time together, but also facilities for tranquility and birdwatching.

Projekt Centrum Młodzieży, elewacja

Tree House project

© Maria Feliszewska

Read also about the project of a library with electronic resources, which is a gateway to the forest. For this project, its author Magdalena Ambroszko from Wroclaw University of Technology received third prize in the 2030 Academic Library competition, also organized by Arc Ace.

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