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Architecture for sleep. Design of a center for treating sleep disorders

Dobrawa Bies
12 of April '22

Martyna Komkowska, a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, decided to study the influence of the environment and architecture on the proper functioning of mechanisms that direct the human biological clock. Her proposal is the Sleep Center - a place that allows you to calm down, regain inner harmony and treat sleep disorders.

The project entitled Sleep in Architecture. Space in relation to aspects of everyday life is a master's thesis, made under the direction of Professor Jacek Dominiczak.

Ośrodek Snu, strefa dzienna

The daytime zone in the Sleep Center

© Martyna Komkowska

An in-depth analysis of the issue of sleep helped me get closer to the subject to the extent that I asked myself whether the quality of sleep can depend on the space in which this process takes place - space understood both in the context of architecture itself and the urban space in which this architecture appears. This has to do with the modern lifestyle of residents of large cities, where leisure time and rest seem to be in the "possession" of only a few. Living in a constant rush has its health consequences and manifests itself, for example, in the form of sleep disorders, Martyna Komkowska introduces.

Ośrodek snu, przekrój przez bryłę

The Sleep Center is divided into three zones

© Martyna Komkowska

In the next step, the author created a vision of a place that could be a comprehensive answer to the problem of sleep disorders. Martyna's main idea was to create the Dream Center - a place that exudes tranquility and has an element of mysterious dream visions. She wanted the complex to evoke a sense of security and care in the viewer, while allowing him or her to develop sleep rituals.

Strefa dzienna Ośrodka Snu Ośrodek Snu, wnętrze sali do medytacji

The Daytime Zone serves as an introduction; it is here that the process of entering sleep begins

© Martyna Komkowska

Sleep Center

The designed Sleep Center was divided into three zones: day, transition and night. The Day Zone is the introduction - it is here that the story of getting to sleep begins, where the architecture is the basis for creating the ritual of transition from day to night. The meditation room located here is, according to the author, an almost sacred zone, where the tranquility of the mind and body is celebrated through meditation. The Transition Zone, occupying the second floor of the building, is responsible for a kind of transformation, work on habits - in one part (a) there are rooms for cognitive-behavioral therapy, while in the other part (b) there is a separate zone for yoga - tranquility.

 Sala do jogi, Strefa przejściowa Część strefy nocnej, korytarz

The author clearly separated the spaces with contrasting colors

© Martyna Komkowska

day and night, zoning

In the interiors of the center, the author used visually contrasting divisions of space, so as to reinforce the sense of division into day and night. The Night Zone is marked by bedrooms - polysomnography rooms where patients spend several nights. The bedroom windows face east, which is related to the sun's effect on the human diurnal rhythm. This part of the building has been surrounded by a wall to insulate it from noise. The space between the wall and the windows is filled with greenery - such a permanent landscape has a soothing effect on the senses. In the inner part of the building a courtyard with a garden has been separated.

Mur oddziela Ośrodek Snu od otoczenia Sypialnia w strefie nocnej ośrodka

The wall separates the building from the noise

© Martyna Komkowska

Theoretical City

The designed establishment is part of the continuation of the Theoretical City, created together with other graduate students in the Studio of Urban Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. The project was inscribed into the tissue of a small city and covers the area of two quarters lying next to each other - inside them the architect placed the Dream Center.

 Ośrodek snu, aksonometria

The spaces between the tenements and the body of the Center have been allocated for pedestrian routes

© Martyna Komkowska

Such a location of the facility was dictated by the need to "hide" it from the noises of the city and to ensure the peace of users. The building of the Dream Center was divided into two parts in relation to the existing street passing between the quarters. This street serves as a pedestrian promenade - for the sake of a sense of security and noise reduction, priority has been given here to pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Both blocks of the Dream Center relate in form to the surrounding tenement houses - in terms of geometry, divisions and the form of the roofs," explains the designer.

Ośrodek Snu, strefa przejściowa

minimalist architecture promotes tranquility

© Martyna Komkowska

"dreamy" scenery

Spaces between the tenements and the body of the Center were allocated for pedestrian routes. The graduate decided to close the interiors of the quarters to outsiders in order to create a somewhat "sleepy" atmosphere conducive to a sense of calm. She wanted to subtly build a setting that could serve as a backdrop for dreamy dreams, but at the same time respond to the real needs of users.

Architecture that accompanies dreams should show empathy and understanding towards human daily life, of which sleep is an essential part. On the one hand, the space switches off together with the user during his sleep, extinguishing all stimulus generators, but at the same time it should watch over his safety," concludes Martyna Komkowska.

elaborated: Dobrawa Bies

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