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To the rescue of the Baltic seals. The project of the rehabilitation center in Łeba

09 of February '23

{tag:studenci} from the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznań worried about the dwindling population of baltic seals decided to design a rehabilitation center for them. The facility, which could be built in Łeba, includes a rehabilitation-hospital and educational section. As the author says, her concept is an appeal to help seals and other endangered animals of the Polish coast.

The Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center in Leba is an engineering diploma thesis done under the direction of Hugon Kowalski at the Faculty of Architecture and Design at UAP.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, lokalizacja

Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center, location.

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

My work addresses the topic of protecting the endangered Baltic seals. The population of these animals, over the years, has drastically declined. The analysis of the current problem of marine mammal protection influenced the creation of my concept for the Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center in Leba. This project is a plea for help for seals and other endangered animals of the Polish coast. They are an important link in the food chain—they maintain the balance between species, and are also an indicator of marine pollution. In a word, we must fight for the biodiversity of our environment. The shape of the Polish coast means that seals could have excellent living conditions—the Bay of Puck is an excellent area for feeding and breeding. Unfortunately, there are many threats to these animals from pollution of the Baltic Sea, commercial fishing, development of tourism to lack of education of the public," explains the author.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich położone jest w Łebie

The Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center consists of two buildings

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

seal assistance center

Guided by the guidelines for seal rehabilitation facilities in Poland and Europe, and through discussions with the staff of the seal sanctuary on Hel, the UAP student designed a modern assistance center. For its location, she chose a remote part of Leba, on the interface with the Sarbska Spit nature reserve. The location, the designer assures, will facilitate the seals' recovery in peaceful conditions, and will not negatively affect tourism. The building was designed with respect for the landscape and the environment.

schemat powstawania projektuCentrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, aksonometria

The author has created a modern assistance center

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

education and protection of marine mammals

The premise consists of two buildings—an administration and education building and a hospital and rehabilitation building. The main task of the center is to help sick seals so that you can return to the wild. The center also serves to educate and spread knowledge about marine mammal conservation.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, ścieżka edukacyjna

Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center, educational pathway

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

This function is located in Building A, in which the author envisaged an entrance area with checkrooms and reception, a lecture hall, sanitary facilities and administrative rooms. A nature trail shows the work of the center and leads to Building B.

Stefa rehabilitacyjno-szpitalna zawiera też strefę kwarantanny

The rehabilitation and hospital zone also includes a quarantine area

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

rehabilitation-hospital zone

Building B is the aforementioned rehabilitation and hospital zone along with a volunteer area. It contains a veterinary clinic with operating rooms, post-operative rooms, doctors' offices, an X-ray room and all supporting rooms. The designer has introduced a quarantine area for newly-arrived seals, equipped with disinfection rooms, offices and a kitchen.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, rzut parteru

Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center, first floor plan

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

The building provides for social rooms, sanitary facilities and boiler rooms. The volunteer area has been equipped with living quarters, locker rooms, laundry facilities and social rooms. The outdoor pools for seals have been divided into three separate zones—a preparatory nursery, a quarantine and a residence pool.

Baseny zewnętrzne dla fok podzielone są na trzy strefy

The outdoor pools for seals are divided into three zones

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

use of renewable energy

The lump of the facility has been differentiated according to its function. The educational part has a representative function, while the rehabilitation part has a technical function. The designer used a range of colors, referring to the landscape of Leba.

The sandy shade of the facade corresponds to the dunes of the Slovinski National Park, while the glass building corresponds to the forest surroundings of the plot, says Weronika.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, elewacja

Baltic Seal Rehabilitation Center, facade

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

The building was founded on footings. The ground floor is formed by masonry walls, braced with reinforced concrete studs. The attic, made of wooden construction, rests on a reinforced concrete perimeter ring beam. Behind the suspended ceilings cables and installations are hidden, and the height of the rooms does not exceed three meters.

Centrum Rehabilitacji Fok Bałtyckich, przekrój strefy edukacyjnej

cross-section of the educational zone

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

The center was designed in accordance with current technical conditions and uses renewable energy sources. The student used mechanical ventilation with recuperation, and rainwater is discharged into retention tanks and reused. The seal rooms are heated with infrared heating foils, powered by photovoltaic panels, while other rooms are equipped with underfloor heating and conventional radiators.

Centrum dzieli się na dwa obiekty

The center is also a place for education

© Weronika Sabok-Rzepka

Also read about the Rehabilitation Center for Australian koalas in Queensland, by Klaudia Trębska.

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