Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Experiment and Ecology. Social Laboratory for Urban Sustainability

26 of March '21

The Social Laboratory for Urban Sustainability is a project in an attempt to prevent climate catastrophe, to which the construction sector contributes significantly. By creating an urban experimental space for sustainable solutions, {tag:studenci}, a graduate student at Wroclaw University of Technology, shows that environmental education and cooperation between different fields of science is our future.

The goal of the Wroclaw University of Technology graduate's project was to create an urban experiential space for sustainable solutions. Key in the design was a holistic approach, allowed the author to synthesize four independent assumptions, which together create a place inscribed in the urban fabric, providing added value for both the local and visiting community, the city and the environment.

Laboratorium Miejskiego Zrównoważenia

The facility is a meaty experimental space for sustainable solutions

© Martyna Idasiak

The world is changing before our eyes. In the face of global warming, the paradigms of the human world, which has so far aimed at relentless economic growth while leading everyone to the brink of climate catastrophe, are being transformed. To prevent this, it would have to slow down. This means looking at many things from a different perspective, one that takes into account not only humans, but also the environment and all its individual components. The broader construction sector is one of the three largest emitters of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere! Changes are needed in the approach to design, as well as a more conscious search for solutions in the creation of architecture," says Martyna Idasiak.

Laboratorium Miejskiego Zrównoważenia, PZT

The establishment includes an office, an exhibition and workshop facility, a production building and a footbridge

© Martyna Idasiak

urban experimental space

The designed premise is a group of buildings with a diverse functional program. The first is an office facility designed for startups working on sustainable products and services. Users will find there both a space to work and to try out their ideas in reality. The building is reminiscent of downtown, while being an example of the use of eco-friendly solutions. On its south wall, the author designed a double glass facade providing natural ventilation, enriched with vertical hydroponic cultivation.

Budynek biurowy
i kładka Przekrój budynku biurowego

The office building refers to downtown development

© Martyna Idasiak

The offices are adjacent to an exhibition and workshop building with a monolithic body accentuated by the form of a solar chimney that illuminates the interior and provides natural ventilation. The facility is tailored to host events aimed at spreading environmental knowledge and deepening awareness through interactive exhibitions and activities.


Completing the complex of facilities is a production building with glass to observe the "heart" of the premise - a biocarbon production line, which the author says is intended to exemplify the effective application of circular economics. The biocarbon is produced from waste from food establishments in the vicinity of the proposed development. It is used to effectively sequester carbon dioxide and fertilize an urban farm, the yield from which is fed back to the restaurants and cafes. Its byproducts (biogas and bio-oil) are used to produce energy for the entire premise, as well as 3D printing filament used to create the facilities' furnishings.

Piesza kładka,
Spowalniacz Rzut budynków założenia

A footbridge connects all the facilities

© Martyna Idasiak

The slower, or pedestrian footbridge

The pedestrian footbridge that binds all the objects together is the buckle of the entire premise, which has been named Slowdown. It encourages users to stop and move (both physically and mentally) from the urban space to the green zone. The footbridge connects all the previously mentioned points, showing the processes of nature and potential sustainable solutions. The footbridge is also an educational path, whereby those using it gain knowledge about climate change through observation and experience. The lines connecting the footbridge's vertical elements flow gently along its every edge, evoking associations with nature growing into urban structures. The object's form makes it clear that combining the concepts of city and ecology is possible. Together they form a common system, working through symbiosis, strongly coupled with each other.

Centrum widziane
z góry

The slowdown is also an educational and experiential pathway

© Martyna Idasiak

The design of the Social Urban Sustainability Laboratory emphasizes the correlation of nature and architecture and the benefits that result from this relationship. The concept also points to the essence of cooperation between different scientific disciplines to find solutions for more comprehensive pro-environmental actions and the pursuit of a more sustainable future, Martyna Idasiak concludes.

The work was done as an engineering diploma under the direction of Dr. Marta Rusnak and was included in the list of the best art and design diplomas of 2020 of the "Font Not Font" competition.

Dobrawa Bies

The vote has already been cast