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Urszula Krauze - "Revitalization of the ruins of the church in Steblewo".

Dobrawa Bies
31 of August '22
Technical data
Type: undergraduate thesis
Year of defense: 2022
Name: "Revitalization of the ruins of the church in Steblewo".
Author: Urszula Krauze
University: Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk.

Dr. Tomasz Zmyślony

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2020/2022".

The diploma project for the revitalization of the ruins of the Gothic church in Steblewo consists of creating architecture inscribed in the existing structures and giving them a new function. The concept is based on strong inspiration from the culture and tradition of the Zulawy region and Steblewo itself. The aim of the project was to create a public space for the local community and tourists to learn about local customs.

Ruiny kościoła w Steblewie, wizualizacja

The ruins of the church in Steblewo, visualization

© Urszula Krauze

The project calls for the creation of a meeting place, a culinary and artistic workshop space, a retail outlet with local products and an ecological greenhouse. The designed spaces are intended to bring visitors closer to themselves, culture, nature and history. Important aspects in the design are minimal interference with the historic ruins, which can also be temporary, and respect and care for the history of the site.

Widok z góry, makieta

top view, mockup

© Urszula Krauze

The work preserves the current state of the ruins, allowing for the possibility of limited preservation work and the addition of temporary elements. The essence of the project is an architectural dialogue between old and new, past and present.

Autorka zaprojektowała budynek w konstrukcji drewnianej

The author designed the building with a wooden structure

© Urszula Krauze

The most important element is a free-standing building of traditional carpentry construction sited inside the nave of the original church. The pine wood structure was covered only with glass so as not to obscure the existing walls. The south and north partitions of the building are made of glass panels on pivot hinges, which can be opened on warm days. In cooler weather, the partition can be closed and covered with curtains to further insulate the interior. In the summer, textiles can protect from the heat and act as a mosquito net.

Makieta projektowanego obiektu

mockup of the designed building

© Urszula Krauze

On the first floor of the facility is a kitchen suitable for cooking workshops, which can accommodate up to twelve participants. The countertops and kitchen cabinets are made of filigree floor slabs from production waste and locally supplemented with wooden fronts. Above the countertops are suspended wooden rods, tanned and oiled, used for drying herbs. In the center is a kitchen shaft with an oven and two cooking stations with a centrally located chimney. It also serves to heat the building.

Kuchnia na parterze

kitchen on the first floor

© Urszula Krauze

The location of the kitchen and its layout is related to the traditional black kitchen in Zulawy. There are also dining tables on the first floor for meetings. I used The Harvest Table tables designed by James Mudge made of solid wood with burnt edges, and as seating complete benches and burnt stumps from Malafor Design Laboratory. The burnt wood interior elements are not only meant to influence the aesthetics, but also to refer to the history of the former church, which was set on fire. Lamps with wicker shades hang above the tables.

Klata schodowa i widna prowadzą na piętro

A staircase and a spectator staircase lead to an attic with a greenhouse

© Urszula Krauze

On the eastern side, the interior features a staircase with an elevator for the handicapped, surrounded by wooden beams overgrown with vines. The staircase leads to the attic, where there is a greenhouse with fruits, vegetables and herbs for use by culinary workshops and the local community. There are worktops, shelving and suspended shelves for vegetation, and benches for relaxing and reading a book. The southern part of the roof is equipped with stick-on perovskite photovoltaic panels.

Na poddaszu znajduje się szklarnia

In the attic there is a greenhouse

© Ursula Krauze

The original porch has been given a new function - a store for regional products. The small room contains shelves for products, a wood-framed table with a concrete top, and above it a suspended shelf with a wicker filling for plants. The interior is covered by a wood and glass structure analogous to the greenhouse building.

Wnętrze kruchty zamienionej na sklepik

Interior of the porch turned into a store

© Urszula Krauze

In the open space there are small wooden squares, where workshops of a craft or artistic nature will be held, and there may also be seating.

Ruiny kościoła w Steblewie, wizualizacja

Around the ruins you can sit and relax

© Urszula Krauze

The original structure of the tower has also remained without much interference. In the blends on the lower level will be placed information boards telling the history of Zulawy, Steblewo and the ruins themselves. Above the heads of visitors hangs an art installation made of wicker. The lightweight vertical shoots are attached by transparent strands to a trellis located at the very top of the tower. The installation will be freely moved by the wind, producing gentle sound effects.

 Instalacja artystyczna z wikliny w wieży ruin kościoła Nowoczesne witraże z drewna

A wicker art installation is suspended over the heads of visitors, and wooden stained glass windows are placed in the windows

© Urszula Krauze

There is little interference with the ruins in the project out of respect for their history, but I wanted to give the walls a subtle modern feel. I filled the empty sharp-arched openings left by the former Gothic stained glass windows with projected "modern stained glass." Geometric jigsawed holes cut in wood decorate not only the original window openings, they are also used as newly designed doors and elevator casings.


Illustrations: © Author

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