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Overnight in a Portuguese valley. The Net project on the final list of the international competition

25 of August '21

Resolved over the summer, the Sleeping Pods on a Cliff competition organized by the Bee Breeders platform was the third design assignment for the scenic and wild terrain of the Vale de Moses in Portugal. This time, the goal was to propose self-sufficient sleeping cabins located on the rocky slopes of the hill. On the final list was The Net, a project by a team of architecture students from the Silesian University of Technology, consisting of: Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski, made under the supervision of Dr. Tomasz Bradecki.

Vale de Moses Yoga Retreat is a place located in the pine and eucalyptus forests of central Portugal, visited every year by hundreds of international visitors seeking a space for meditation and yoga practice.

Projekt The Net,
wejście Projekt The Net, widok
z tyłu

The assignment was to design a simple sleeping cabin

© Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski

sleeping booths

The Sleeping Pods on a Cliff task was to design a simple accommodation base - sleeping cabins that could accommodate several guests simultaneously. Each facility was to include a basic sleeping area and a washroom. The international jury composed of: Marta Frazão, Filipe Rodrigues and Inês Vicente (Atelier Data), Ricardo Gomes (, Samuel Gonçalves (SUMMARY), Jake Heffington, Mikhail Krymov (Sleepbox), Raulino Silva (Escola Superior Artística do Porto) were looking for projects with a focus on ecological solutions, sustainable construction and operation. An important aspect was the idea of a system that naturally purifies gray water so that it can be reused to irrigate forest slopes.

Projekt The Net,

The students decided on a design made of wooden and stone modules

© Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski

The rules of the competition were, first of all, quite specific. It was necessary to post four boards in A2 format horizontally on the organizer's website. The content of the boards was absolutely free and depended on the taste of the authors, and the organizer in the information note presented only suggested ways to present the project. A maximum of four people could work on one competition entry. In our case, we signed up as students and thus were able to represent our university. This involved additionally signing up a university employee as a person with whom the organizer could contact in case of emergency. Together we decided to ask Dr. Tomasz Bradecki, who agreed without hesitation, for which we are very grateful. It is worth noting that all the requirements and rules of the competition were very clear and known from the day it was announced, and this shows the true professionalism of the organizers," say the authors of the project.

Projekt The Net,
wnętrze parteru Projekt The Net, wnętrze
części nasłonecznionej

The facility includes both sunny and shaded spaces

© Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski

The Net

Among the numerous submissions, the jury took notice of The Net project by Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek and Mariusz Piwkowski, placing it on the strict final list.

The main idea behind the project by students of the Silesian University of Technology was to create a bedroom where, while falling asleep, one would feel close to nature. The concept was inspired by the numerous window slats that characterize the facades of traditional Portuguese townhouses. The authors did not want to include only ordinary beds in the building, but also "nets" mounted in the ceiling. This created a place to sleep or rest, and the net itself allows light to penetrate and brighten the interior of the building.

Projekt The Net,

The Net was divided into several functions

© Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski

wooden and stone module

A distinctive feature of the building is that it is divided by a longitudinal strip of glass into two modules: wooden and stone. The former consists of a wooden structure "filled" with glass and a thinner wooden "mesh" that blocks some of the light on warm, sunny days. The authors also anticipated that the "grid" could be overgrown with plants. The second module, in addition to the wooden structure, is clad with stone panels, providing shade while sleeping, as well as privacy in the bathroom. Numerous glazings allow contact with nature surrounding the building.

Projekt The Net, część
zacieniona Projekt The Net, przekrój

The top floor is dedicated to sleep and relaxation

© Jakub Ciszewski, Tomasz Klepek, Mariusz Piwkowski

The building has also been divided according to several basic functions. On the first floor there is an open entrance space with seating, with built-in regiments. Behind a sliding door is a storage room, and opposite the main entrance, behind frosted glass, is a bathroom with a toilet. On the mezzanine floor, the architects provided a large bed, an infrared panel and shelves. This part of the building is encased in stone, providing shade and a sense of privacy. On the second floor there is a suspended grid, where users of the building can sleep, rest and enjoy the scenery through numerous glass windows. There is also seating next to the net.

First place in the Sleeping Pods on a Cliff competition went to the Dew Catcher project by a Polish-Dutch team consisting of: Maciej Abramczyk and Marco Moretto.

Previous competitions related to the Vale de Moses Yoga Retreat involved designs for meditation cabins and a yoga house. Read about komorebi, a Polish-Japanese duo, which received third prize, and the honorable mention project INSIDE|OUT by Wave Architecture. Meanwhile, the list of finalists in the yoga house concept competition included a project by kamecki.architektura and Passing Through by students of the Warsaw University of Technology.

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