Students designed wooden furniture for residents of Polish and Czech Cieszyn

Dobrawa Bies
02 of September '22

As many as two international student design workshops, Mood for Wood , took place this summer . Their 11th edition, titled Revival, took place in Cieszyn and brought together design students from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The groups, under the guidance of experienced tutors, created six pieces of urban furniture intended for the residents of Cieszyn, both on the Polish and Czech sides.

The organizers of the workshop were the Common Point Association and the Poznan branch of the Association of Polish Architects , and the project coordinators were Maria Dondajewska, Ada Kocieniewska and Magda Wypusz. As in the case of the previous, 10th edition held this summer in Poznan, the challenge of Revival was to design and create six pieces of urban furniture.

Studenci pracowali na dziedzińcu Zamku w Cieszynie

The students worked, among others, in the courtyard of Cieszyn Castle

photo: Dawid Majewski

Some of the student groups worked on the grounds of Cieszyn Castle, the oldest part of the city - where two projects were created for the Laja teahouse and the State Music School, and one project at the foot of Castle Hill. The other three groups worked on the Czech side, where they proposed furniture for recreation and fishing in the Hrabinka Nature Reserve, near the dam.

Projekt Table for… too

Table for... project too

photo: Dawid Majewski

Table for... too

Near the Open Air Museum by Robert Skitek, students led by Hungarian architects from CAN architects - Andres Cseh and Szilard Koninger - worked. The designers decided on a simple piece of furniture - a table, which they believe is the archetype of communal seating. The furniture invites and connects everyone from both sides of the border, which disappears through meetings, discussions, and time spent together. The table, based on a small hill, creates a variety of spaces that provide a comfortable time for people of all ages, body types, and offers the opportunity to organize a variety of events.

Table for… too wykorzystuje stare meble

Table for... too makes use of old furniture

photo: Dawid Majewski

According to the organizers, a group of students were keen to weave the history of the divided city into a contemporary design - so they decided to gather with the help of local residents and use in their project old, dilapidated legs of tables andchairs from both cities - to highlight the diversity and complicated history of this city and to make it a real meeting place that residents from both sides of the border can identify with.

Music Platform to miejsce na koncerty

Music Platform is a place for concerts

photo: Dawid Majewski

Music Platform

Architects Vaclav Suba and Jakub Červenka from the Czech studio OBJEKTOR supervised a second group of students who took on the challenge of designing a piece of furniture for students at the I. Paderewski State Music School. The group's design also had to win approval from the provincial conservator. The result of the consultation is the Music Platform furniture, which functions as a space for intimate concerts and meetings as part of cultural events at the Castle.

Praca nad Music Platform

Work on the Music Platform

photo: Dawid Majewski

The proposed stage consists of three square modules measuring 1.8 × 1.8 meters located on a glulam beam more than seven meters long. Two of the modules have movable elements that, when unfolded, create comfortable support for four people - one side in a sitting position and the other in a semi-reclining position. When folded, they form a flat stage that can accommodate several musicians. Opposite the stage is a five-meter-long bench made of three large glulam beams, providing space for a small audience.

Teahouse i jego autorzy

Teahouse and its authors

Photo: Dawid Majewski


The last piece of furniture created in the Polish part of Cieszyn is the Teahouse located in the castle courtyard. The project was carried out under the direction of Mikołaj Smoleński of CH+ architects and Dawid Strebicki of Atelier Starzak Strebicki in cooperation with the Leja teahouse, with the goal of creating a calm, relaxing space for guests of the teahouse and the Castle. The students, referring to the wabi-sabi style, wanted to create a simple design, bringing users closer to nature.

Tehouse tehouse

Teahouse design refers to Japanese tea pavilions

photo: Dawid Majewski

Their proposal is a pavilion made of larch planks of the same size and covered with a sizable roof. The structure has a low door, so that the visitor bows before entering the tea ceremony site. The interior of the pavilion relates in size to traditional Japanese tatami mats. Meanwhile, the proximity to nature, the view of the trees and the feeling of touching warm wooden surfaces is meant to calm and relax users.

Hrabina Tea Spot

Countess Tea Spot

Photo credit: Dawid Majewski

Countess Tea Spot

The theme of the tea pavilion was also addressed by a group led by Slovakian architects from GRAU studio. The Hrabina Tea Spot project was built in the Hrabinka Nature Reserve, on the very bank of the dam. The simple, open design, based on a square plan, also evokes the traditional forms of Japanese tea pavilions, and this feeling is reinforced by the use of white fabric - suspended at an angle at the top of the structure.

Hrabina Tea Spot Hrabina Tea Spot

The pavilion invites you to experience closeness to nature

photo: Dawid Majewski

The pavilion invites visitors to experience closeness to nature, and its form has been influenced by several principles by which the traditional tea ceremony is performed. Visitors must bow their heads to enter the platform, and upon entering their gaze is directed to a wide-open window facing a body of water. The only piece of furniture - a low table placed in the middle of the pavilion is suitable for setting down cups, and can also be easily used as a bench.

Projekt Piknikovna

Piknikovna project

Photo: Dawid Majewski


A picnic furniture Piknikovna was created above the Hrabinka Dam under the direction of the NOMAD studio. The form of the furniture takes advantage of the natural slope of the terrain, connecting the main walking path with the water reservoir. The furniture is divided into three segments, which perform the main functions of EAT- PLAY- CHILL. The first segment(EAT) accessible from the walking path is a large table that can accommodate up to ten people.

Praca nad Piknikovną

Work on Piknikovna

Photo: Dawid Majewski

Another zone(PLAY) is designed for children, who can climb on the furniture structure. In addition to the play space, this segment also offers additional outdoor benches that are suitable for lying down or sitting in various configurations in larger groups. Above the reservoir itself, there are seats for relaxing by the water(CHILL) that frame different views and allow you to choose a sunny or shady side.


Rybolov(e) project

Photo: Dawid Majewski


The last group, under the guidance of Polish architects from Archigrest studio, created a piece of furniture called Rybolov(e), whose main audience is anglers visiting the reserve. The project is a kind of platform with facilities for anglers, connecting a walking path with the shore of the reservoir, a seating area and a small canopy.

Praca nad Rybolov(e)

work on Rybolov(e)

Photo: Dawid Majewski

The structure consists of a main platform 6.5 meters long and a smaller one cantilevered over the water. Transverse beams support doubled columns spaced modularly. A roof is placed between the topmost poles to provide shelter on rainy days. The platform has its origin at sidewalk level, which facilitates access for people with disabilities. Thanks to the slope of the terrain, it changes its height and lower, it can be used as a seating area. The platform is also equipped with special shelves with hangers, creating a distinctive composition.

Uczestniczki warsztatów Mood for Wood

Participants of the Mood for Wood workshop

photo: Dawid Majewski

The Mood for Wood workshop aims to promote participatory activities, collaboration between designers and the local community, and emphasize the role played by hands-on education of design students focused on developing manual skills. The workshop, which lasts more than a week, is a process that poses a huge challenge and involves intense work. However, it leaves one with immense satisfaction from handcrafted projects that contribute to the creation of a valuable space for the local community," the event's organizers conclude.

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