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Szymon Chwazik - "The tradition of habitation and the identity of the region. Home in the Vistula Żuławy".

Ola Kloc
23 of December '22
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Author: Szymon Chwazik

Karol Żurawski, Dr. Jerzy Grochulski

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

Through the process of globalization, commercialization of architecture and uniformity of buildings at an accelerating pace, many areas in Poland are losing their unique features and values. Spatial and cultural continuity is disappearing, and newly built houses are polarized between contextual ignorance and romantic sentimentalism. Shaped and developed over hundreds of years, the typologies, inextricably linked to place, today can be seen mainly in open-air museums or as outposts among chaotic catalog construction.

twarze istniejących domów podcieniowych

The faces of existing arcaded houses

© Szymon Chwazik

The thesis focuses on the search for the relationship between regional tradition and contemporary building realities, concentrating in the design part on the Zulawy Wislane area. The uniqueness of this region stems from the consistent, multi-generational work of the entire community of residents to transform and build the landscape in response to the challenges created by the element of water. This has led to the development of distinctive building typologies, including arcaded houses, and anthropogenic landscape layouts: extensive polders, systems of dams and dikes, and geometric plantings of tall greenery.

zestawienie sylwet domów podcieniowych, historyczny i projektowany

juxtaposition of silhouettes of arcaded houses, historical and designed

© Szymon Chwazik

The design concept is to create a development with hospitality functions, embedded in the buildings of the modest historic village of Osice. The designed complex consists of three buildings: the host house and two supplementary buildings: a multipurpose building and one with rooms for rent. The farmhouse was designed within the outline of the foundations of a historic arcaded house, which was demolished in 2015 due to its poor technical condition.

widok z lotu ptaka

bird's eye view

© Szymon Chwazik

zagospodarowanie terenu wraz ze strukturą parterów

landscaping with first floor structure

© Szymon Chwazik

The house was planned for a single family, which fits the modern trend of escaping from the city to the countryside. It includes living spaces for the hosts and guest areas where visitors can dine and spend their leisure time. The designed block layout allows for a free interconnection of living spaces, and the closed block structure allows the volumes to be divided and enclosed as needed. The house through extensive openings connects to the garden, each side of the house opens to a different type of greenery, located according to the availability of functions. A clear interior layout zones the space, providing a gradation of privacy with successive rooms from the main entrance.

dom gospodarzy, rzut parteru

host house, first floor plan

© Szymon Chwazik

The concept is an attempt to design in the spirit of modern pragmatism, following above all the logical and rational character of rural construction. The form of the house relies on a clear and simple layout. It is formed by a structure of service blocks, containing auxiliary and storage functions, and living spaces that open up to the surrounding landscape. The main idea was to provide a long view through numerous openings in the blocks that create frames for the day spaces of the house, complementing the view of the Zulawy horizon.

widok z ulicy na dom gospodarzy

The view from the street to the host house

© Szymon Chwazik

The layout of the blocks emphasizes the division of the first floor space into guest and private areas, which is further accentuated by the staircase marking the space for the hosts. The house is designed to respond to the peculiarities of the local way of living through spacious rooms for communal living, connecting with the landscape and other parts of the house. The complementary buildings are a reminiscence of the farm buildings and fit into the layout of the buildings in the village. However, these houses do not repeat the historic massing, and their form is dictated by economy and functionality. The buildings create a relationship with the landscape through large openings in the living spaces.

widok z jadalni gospodarzy widok z jadalni gości na ogród

The view from the hosts' dining room and the view from the guests' dining room to the garden

© Szymon Chwazik

Modernity confronts the architect with questions related to the locality of materials. What is local building material and does it exist in the form it did in the past? The typical rural method of building with available materials has not been transformed, while the material itself has been changed. The project takes into account the realities of the modern countryside, proposing the most common and affordable raw materials, such as single-layer masonry walls, natural thick-layer cement-lime plaster or standing seam zinc-titanium sheeting.


Illustrations: © Author

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