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Maciej Franta and Robert Konieczny presented a project to expand the spa in Ustroń Zawodzie!

30 of September '22

The architecture of the spa in Ustroń Zawodzie does not need to be introduced to anyone - the characteristic pyramids designed by the trio consisting of Henryk Buszko, Aleksander Franta and Tadeusz Szewczyk have become an icon of the town and some of the most recognizable Silesian buildings. To the surprise of many, the resort designed during the communist era and proudly adorning the slopes of Równica will soon be expanded!

Before we take a look at the new proposal, we remind you of the documentary film "Spa. Architecture of Zawodzie," directed by Ewa Trzcionka, which features Przemo Lukasik and Robert Konieczny, among others, alongside Aleksander Franta, one of the authors of the premise.

The documentary film "Resort. Architecture of Zawodzie"

The modernist treatment and rehabilitation complex with holiday homes in the aforementioned pyramidal shape, which was under construction since the 1960s, was never completed - only seventeen of the planned twenty-eight buildings were completed. The American Heart of Poland Group entrusted the design of the modern expansion of the premise to two Silesian architects and their studios - MaciejFranta(Franta Group) and Robert Konieczny (KWK Promes).

The concept prepared by the two teams does not assume only the construction of new facilities, it is to be a proposal for the urban development of the entire district while raising the standard of the complex, better integrating it with the city and taking care of the natural qualities of the slope.

It is a comprehensive plan for the development of the resort for the next decades. Such a holistic approach, which also characterized the design of my grandfather's complex, is expected to protect the district from chaotic development, while haphazard developments have been springing up in the area since the 1990s, Franta explains. - This naturally and culturally valuable ensemble needs to be taken care of, and after so many years of being built in - it also needs a kind of rehabilitation. The facilities we are designing are intended to strengthen the existing layout and increase the accessibility and attractiveness of the resort.

widok z lotu ptaka

bird's eye view

© American Heart of Poland Group

pyramids and wedges

So what will be built on the site? The plan includes three blocks reminiscent of the iconic pyramids, whose saddle roofs will be covered with grass, a pedestrian prom enade with a bicycle path that crosses the district from north to south and is attractive to strollers, a cable car station that will allow a better connection to the city, a pump house and eating establishments.

widok z lotu ptaka

bird's eye view

© American Heart of Poland Group

The original holiday homes have balconies glued on, we treat the pyramids like rock massifs, which we scramble into. This will create spacious loggias in the hollows, so that the buildings' large glazed areas will get the shade they need and won't overheat in the summer. On the other hand, from the bottom we intend to strongly undercut the volumes in order to minimize the interference of the buildings with the slope," explains the idea behind the design of the modern pyramids by Robert Konieczny.

In the architecture proposed by Franta and Konieczny one can see proven elements characteristic of both architects - the ground floors of the new pyramids recall the undercut walls of Konieczny's Ark, located on a steep slope, while the deeply indented loggias seem to refer somewhat to the complex of hotel pavilions in Wisła or the terraces of the Żorro apartment building designed by the Franta Group.

projekt zakłada budowę trzech brył nawiązujących do kultowych piramid, których siodłowe dachy pokryte zostaną trawą

The project envisages the construction of three blocks reminiscent of the iconic pyramids, whose saddle roofs will be covered with grass

© American Heart of Poland Group

The architects also proposed the construction of two more structures, which they called wedge-shaped. They are to be so integrated into the clearing's relief that they will almost become invisible from some perspectives.

Reviewing old designs for the resort, we came across the now-forgotten concept of the so-called clinchers. The main road divides the composition of Buszka, Franta and Szewczyk. Above it were built protruding pyramids, while below it were planned their inverted counterparts, i.e. the clinches," Robert Konieczny explains the idea. - Their flat roofs were to be extensive terraces, and the floors would grow downward as the slope descended. In our version, the roofs become green glades, the architect adds.

zrealizowane mają zostać także dwa klinowce

Two wedge-shaped buildings are also to be realized

© American Heart of Poland Group

Will the new facilities become competition for the existing ones? As the designers emphasize, their goal is to creatively continue the composition chosen by the authors of the 1960s project.

We are convinced that a well-thought-out expansion of Zawodzie, relating to the architectural context as well as respecting nature, will raise the resort's profile, the architects assure. - Our project, combined with the ambitious plans of the investor, are a chance to create a spa resort of European stature in Ustroń. Sixty years after the start of construction of Zawodzie, we will be able to complete the work of our predecessors, including the composition of the famous pyramids, as well as the entire district, which will give the city new development prospects for decades to come, they conclude.

sercem założenia ma być deptak, który przetnie dzielnicę z północny na południe

The heart of the establishment is to be a promenade that will cut through the district from north to south

© American Heart of Poland Group

Architectural and spatial interference with the existing, appreciated fabric is quite a design challenge. The proposal for the Zawodzie resort also provokes questions about how to approach the expansion or modernization of communist-era assumptions, which, using another complex as an example, is discussed by Błażej Ciarkowski in his article "To the Rescue of the Grapes, Points and Lines. Protecting the Jaszowiec holiday district in Ustroń"[here].

compiled by Ola Kloc

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