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RAILROAD TO THE BETTER LIVING. Tiny house as bridge over train tracks

30 of December '21
Technical data
Name: "RAILROAD TO THE BETTER LIVING. Tiny house as a bridge over the railroad tracks of trains".
Category: multi-family house
Authors: Nikola Czech, Katarzyna Smagacz
Faculty of Architecture, Wroclaw University of Technology
Thesis Promoter:

Dr. Anna Bać, Ph.D., arch.

Work submitted to the Halina Skibniewskaya student competition - HEALTHY HOUSE

A proposal for a bridge created from Tiny house objects in the heart of the city - over the railroad tracks. Although the square meterage of the apartments is 25m2, the project provides for comfortable use by people with limited mobility. The solutions also provide comfortable functioning for two people.

The project Railroad to the better living by Katarzyna Smagacz and Nikola Czech was created at the Faculty of Architecture, Wrocław University of Technology under the direction of Dr. hab. arch. Anna Bać.

The project is a link between the Tiny residential building and a global problem. We decided to pay attention to the situation in city centers. These are well-communicated, densely built-up areas, resulting in congestion and overcrowding, and paradoxically there is a huge undeveloped area in the heart of the city. This is the space above the railroad tracks. Our proposal to meet the needs of residents and visitors is a bridge created from Tiny house objects.

propozycjaspełnieniapotrzeb mieszkańców i przyjezdnych

Proposal for a bridge over railroad tracks in the center of Katowice.

© Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

We united the idea of a transportation route with residential buildings. Due to our background and knowledge of the daily reality of the place, we decided to take the city of Katowice in the Silesian province as an example. The addressees are people eager to live in the heart of the city. Due to their dynamic lifestyles or the need for proximity, they are generally people at the beginning of their careers, students and the elderly. Although the square footage of the apartments is 25sqm, the project provides for comfortable use by people with limited mobility. The solutions also ensure comfortable functioning for two people.

rzut aksonometria

The main body of the bridge is formed by a strip of ten apartments open with a glass facade to the southwest side

© Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

The entrance area located behind the wooden facade consists of stairs and three elevators, which allow easier entry for people with limited mobility, as well as the transportation of heavy objects to the apartment level. It is located on the second floor of the main body of the bridge. It is formed by a strip of ten apartments open with a glass facade to the southwest side. Access to them is provided by a corridor leading directly from the cage. Directly above it, on the floor that is a proper fusion of the residential and public zones, there is a public passage, separated by a green wall from the glazed volume belonging to the apartments. This space is complemented by two-story seats, which, in addition to their role as a resting place, are tanks for rainwater supplied to the apartments. Their layout provides a draught sufficient for a group of friends, as well as unbuilt space for wheelchair users.

obustronna fasada jest dwuwarstwowa, co zapewnia skuteczną izolację akustyczną

The facade on both sides is double-layered, providing effective sound insulation

© Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

The double-sided facade is double-layered, which provides effective sound insulation. It creates a comprehensive protection against vibrations. The layout creates two passageways, and the space above the apartments has been developed into a private relaxation area. Fully glazed, it provides exceptional light to the apartment below, and also provides a green area, to be used for crops. The plants have a positive effect on the air condition of the apartment.

Below the apartment are wind turbines, which use the wind created by passing trains to convert its energy into electricity. They are also part of ventilation. They force air into the apartment through muted ventilation ducts located in the floor. Above them is a layer of underfloor heating, making it possible to heat the air before it reaches the living area. By means of a solar chimney, air is exhausted from the apartment. An alternative air supply path is the windbreak located above the apartment. The windbreak and the solar chimney, forming a single line, provide a natural barrier between the apartments' relaxation area and the public passage. These devices and photovoltaic panels placed above the public passage in the form of a canopy that protects from the sun, and precipitation, provide energy independence. The electricity generated provides for the operation of a heat pump, to which water is supplied from the corridor seats that are rainwater tanks. Glazing located in the ceiling of the green zone provides exceptional lighting for the apartment. Movement to it is possible both from the public passage and directly from the apartment.

schemat energetyczny

energy scheme

© Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

A lift integrated into the floor elevates residents to the garden. It also serves as an automatic elevation for the use of a tall closet, which is daily hidden in an alcove above a low resting place. Thanks to its suspension on rails located in the ceiling, it is possible to move it freely with continuous use thanks to doors on both sides. The single bed located under the top layer of the planking that constitutes the seating, when the closet is extended, increases its usable dimensions, providing comfortable use for couples. The kitchen, which forms the boundary between the entrance and everyday zones of the apartment, meets the necessary requirements of the kitchen draught and allows the countertops on its sides to be extended to increase usable space when preparing meals. Not far from it is a bathroom with a multifunctional bench - a toilet and a shower fulfilling the function of a sink have been placed in it. The given form allows comfortable and safe use for people with limited mobility and the elderly.

propozycja mostu nad torami kolejowymi w centrum Katowic

Proposal for a bridge over railroad tracks in the center of Katowice

© Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

The glass facade, the layers of which are staggered by 80 cm from each other, creates a kind of terrace and allows passage between apartments. The bridge consists of a reinforced concrete ceiling, over which a glulam ceiling is placed. This arrangement of materials provides adequate strength to the structure. The glass facade, on the other hand, created from glass panels connected by sealing, is based on stringers hidden in the load-bearing walls. The whole preserved in black and gray colors with wooden elements and vegetation creates a refuge in the dynamic center of the city. It's a place to distance yourself mentally and physically from the urban life running below, among the greenery.

Katarzyna Smagacz, Nikola Czech

Illustrations: © Authors

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