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Tourist season all year round. Design of an indoor ski slope in Gdynia

Dobrawa Bies
20 of November '20

A year-round ski slope in Gdynia? An award-winning project by an architecture graduate

ADominika Walkusz decided to address the seasonality of coastal cities, full of tourists in summer and deserted in winter. To solve this problem, the Gdansk University of Technology graduate proposed to develop the area around Mount Donas in Gdynia, creating a space attractive and inviting to visit the tri-city area all year round. The result was a design for a sports and recreation complex with a year-round ski slope.

The project by Dominika Walkusz is a thesis carried out at the Gdansk University of Technology under the direction of Dr. Jan Cudzik. The concept won an honorable mention in the competition for the Award of the Mayor of Gdynia for the best thesis on Gdynia. The main goal of the young architect is to create a unique place in the country, which will enable winter sports all year round and thus attract tourists to the Tri-City outside the summer season. When making design decisions, an important aspect for the author was to match the relief of the area, making maximum use of the natural slopes of the terrain and minimal interference with the environment - respecting the fauna and flora found in the area.

Projekt krytego stoku
narciarskiego

the proposed facility is a year-round establishment

© Dominika Walkusz

The highest mountain in the Tri-City

After conducting numerous analyses, familiarizing herself with the Local Spatial Development Plan and the Study of Land Use Conditions and Directions for the area around Dabrowa in Gdynia, the author decided to place the sports and recreation complex on Mount Donas. This mountain is the highest elevation in the Tri-City (206 meters above sea level). During World War II, Donas, as the highest peak in the area, was an observation post. Today it houses a telecommunications tower with a viewing platform. The proposed sports facility consists of a main building with the function of an indoor ski slope, a hotel, an ice rink, a restaurant, and other buildings with associated functions.

Kryty stok narciarski

The ski slope hall has a glass and wooden structure

© Dominika Walkusz

year-round ski slope by the sea

The project involves the construction of several buildings and technical infrastructure. All buildings fit in with the surroundings, both in terms of shape and the natural materials used for the facades. The author wanted the premise to harmonize with the existing nature and not interfere with its character. The main part is a year-round hall of a snow-covered ski slope, with a soft and organic body created from glass and a wooden openwork structure, which is both the structure and the roofing of the building. The glass used is a Venetian mirror - from inside, skiers can observe the surrounding landscape, while from outside, a thicket of forest is reflected on the walls of the building. The architect also created additional buildings - a hotel, restaurant, ticket office, rope park with facilities and tree houses.

Budynek hotelu

The resort also features a hotel with a wooden facade

© Dominika Walkusz

natural trails and year-round attractions

The main problem facing the designer was the large area of the plot with significant slopes, creating a kind of basin. She had to determine the course of the trails so as to take advantage of the greatest slope. In this way she obtained two routes, one outside and the other inside the building hall. The result was a slope on an area that has a 40-meter difference in height at its peaks, which helped give the route a natural shape. A plus point is the proximity to the center of Gdynia and easy access to the ring road, so the site is a great alternative to slopes located outside the Tri-City.

Zagospodarowanie
terenu stoku

The sports and recreation complex on Mt. Donas will revitalize Gdynia's Dąbrowa neighborhood

© Dominika Walkusz

The proposed facilities could be a tourist attraction on a Polish scale. The entire complex is expected to attract visitors through its function, as well as its modern, interesting architecture. The program envisages operation of the facility at any time of the year, offering different attractions in summer and cold weather. Importantly, the complex will also enliven the typically bedroom district of Gdynia - Dabrowa.

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