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VARSO SPORT. Silesian University of Technology students' project with IAKS bronze medal.

16 of December '21

VARSO SPORT, a project by Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin and Marlena Michalska, was awarded a bronze medal in the IOC IPC category of the IAKS Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals 2021 international competition organized by IAKS - the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. VARSO SPORT, which is a sports center on the Defilad Square in Warsaw, was selected from among 44 entries from 14 different countries and made it to the podium along with projects from China, Japan, Canada and Peru!

się na Placu Defilad

The authors placed the project on the Defilad Square in Warsaw

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

The Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals 2021 competition included design works focusing on creating spaces and buildings for sports and recreation in the broadest sense. The design strategy had to encourage young people to participate in sports by making sports activities accessible and approachable, such as in their urban environments. The competition was intended for students of architecture, landscape architecture or interior design, as well as young professionals in the first two years of their professional practice.

bronze medal for the VARSO SPORT project


bronze medal for polish students

The jury consisting of members of the IAKS chapter evaluated the projects based on the following criteria: imagination and innovation, design concept and its quality, integration into the urban environment or landscape in terms of aesthetics and easy access, sustainability principles in terms of environmental, social andeconomic, adaptation to the consequences of climate change, social and community aspects, promotion of physical activity for all without exception, support for health, well-being and active living, accessibility and universal design / inclusive functions for the widest possible range of users.

plan zagospodarowania terenu

VARSO SPORT, site plan

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

From among the 44 entries, the jury decided to award the gold medal to the work Low Line Sports Park by Zeng Wujingting from China. Silver was awarded to Enrique Maximo Galvez Gonzales from Peru for Moyobamba Sports and Recreation Center. Three bronze medals were also awarded, they were given to: Ryo Kobayashi, Tsuyoshi Utagawa and Yuki Saito of Japan for the Sports science & digital art arena project, Narita Reyes Ico of Canada for The Granville Gateway. The bronze medal also went to a team from Poland, consisting of: Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin and Marlena Michalska for VARSO SPORT made under the direction of Professor Andrzej Duda at the Silesian University of Technology.

As we read in the jury's justification:

The project brings the theme of sports into the center of Warsaw and public life. The multi-story, square building with several levels offers all possibilities for sports. The transparent facades allow a glimpse inside and outside the building and emphasize the conceptual approach of this project. The second, more administrative building is designed as a skyscraper-like slab. Standing on 35-meter-high supports, it creates a protected public space with a large grandstand and a view of a huge LED screen. The combination of sports and public life makes the VARSO SPORT project worthy of mention.


The project consists of two buildings

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska


The VARSO SPORT project was developed based on an analysis of the urban fabric structure of the center of Warsaw and the sports facilities located there.

Major sports centers are three kilometers away from the immediate center, which is not conducive to integrating the sports function with the social life of Varsovians and other representative places on the city map. The selected plot is located in one of the most important places in the capital, which is the Defilad Square, the location of the landmark Palace of Culture and Science. On the square, the Museum of Modern Art, designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, will be built in 2024. And it was opposite it, in front of the neighboring wing of the Palace, that we placed VARSO SPORT, creating together with the museum the entrance zone of the Palace of Culture, and thus complementing the Defilad Square with functions of a sporting and integrative nature," say the awarded authors.

Przestrzeń publiczna
pod budynkiem biurowym

A public space has been created under the office building

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

A skyscraper on the edge of Plac Defilad

The students, in order to integrate all functions inside the designed complex, divided it into two individual blocks. The first one, containing a hotel, congress halls, headquarters of sports companies and e-gaming arenas, has the character of a skyscraper and is located on the edge of the Defilad Square, on the main road leading to the Central Station, among others.

schematy projektowe

The city grandstand has an integrative function

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

Due to the representative nature of the plot, the main design factor was the desire to create a space for all users, not only those associated with the sports taking place in the second block of the complex, but also fans and passersby, the young architects add.

przekrój Projekt VARSO SPORT, rzut

A soccer field was placed on the roof of the sports building

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

For this reason, the authors decided to place the structure of the office block on 35-meter-high columns and adapt the space underneath it into a public platform. The city grandstand located there has an integrative function, and the free space is conducive to meetings of all social groups. One of the three parts of the grandstand faces Marszalkowska Street, while the others face the building's façade, which features a transparent LED screen. It can be used to display various events, not only sports, and movies.

VARSO SPORT to dwa budynki

VARSO SPORT is two contrasting buildings

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

sport in the center of Warsaw

The second designed building, unlike the first , has a double translucent facade in a light color. The building proposes multi-sport and exhibition spaces, which are intertwined. The different heights of the sports and recreational spaces also intermingle. Due to the plot's location in the city center, the soccer field for the 6vs6 competition was designed on the roof of the building and surrounded by a grid that refers to the transparent facade.

Boisko sportowe

The sports building has a transparent facade

© Anna Czapla, Filip Gawin, Marlena Michalska

Thanks to innovative solutions and diversification of spaces, VARSO SPORT targets a wide range of users, offering arenas for multiple sports, gyms, an aquapark, exhibition space, an observation deck, restaurants, stores and a public platform with a grandstand, the authors conclude.

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