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A space for relaxation and fun. A common courtyard in Poznan designed by Pawel Grobelny

04 of February '22

Late last year, another project by Pawel Grobelny - a designer who has won numerous awards for his concepts of public spaces - was completed in Poznań. The common courtyard is located in a small housing estate at 30 Saperska Street and offers residents spaces to relax and play, all framed in a streamlined and minimalist form.

Wspólny dziedziniec w Poznaniu

Together with Zuzanna Hybiak, the designer introduced various species of ornamental grasses,
multi-stem birches and maple-leaf plane trees

© Pawel Grobelny

Common Courtyard is Pawel Grobelny's second realization in Poznan. The previous one was the award-winning Circle Form square, located in the Chwaliszczewo neighborhood. This time, the designer arranged the common space of a newly built residential estate. As in the case of the designer's other projects, the Common Courtyard is characterized by minimalism, frugal expression, and the use of natural materials - especially wood. In addition, it was very important for the author to combine greenery with small architecture.

Wspólny dziedziniec w Poznaniu, rzut i rysunki mebli

The Common Courtyard features urban furniture, platforms and toys for children

© Pawel Grobelny

The individual furniture and toys were sunk in the tall grasses, so as to create intimate zones. And various types of benches, platforms and tables make it possible to spend time in larger and smaller groups. It was very important to create a common space that was attractive enough for residents to be able to identify with it. So that this space would give them breath and encourage them to go out when they observe it from their balconies and windows," says the designer.

Dziecko na Wspólnym placu

The furniture was sunk into the tall grasses

© Pawel Grobelny

interview with Pawel Grobelny

Dobrawa Bies: Where did you start with the Common Courtyard project?

PawelGrobelny: After the first meeting with OKRE Development, I went to see the place itself. The development was already under construction, so I was able to see the target location with its surroundings under construction. It was important to me that this space be attractive both from the eye level - when we are in this courtyard, but also from the windows and terraces of the residents, because this is a space that they will often see from their balconies and windows.

Wspólny dziedziniec to przestrzeń dla wszystkich

The space is open to different uses

© Pawel Grobelny

Dobrawa: Did the developer set any special requirements?

Pawel Grobelny: OKRE Development wanted this space to be friendly to residents of different ages, but also to be open to different uses. I had a lot of freedom in this project. I think we understood each other well, and the collaboration was one of the most interesting ones I've had the opportunity to take part in.

Dobrawa: Please tell us about the realization itself. What materials and plant species did you use?

Pawel Grobelny: All the furniture designed for this courtyard is made of natural wood and steel structure. In turn, the vegetation was selected together with Zuzanna Hybiak - landscape designer. We used various species of ornamental grasses and multi-trunk birches, and maple-leaf plane trees were planted on the periphery of the courtyard. The vegetation creates an intimacy to this space, as we sit on individual furniture or platforms, we are surrounded by grasses, or trees (in the case of the seating table). And this intimacy of this space was an important element of the whole project.

Zabawka dla dzieci na wspólnym dziedzińcu

Children's toys were also made of wood

© Pawel Grobelny

Dobrawa: Who are the recipients of this minimalist project and how are they supposed to feel here?

PawelGrobelny: The recipients of this project are, of course, the residents of the estate themselves. They include children, teenagers and adults. As in any new housing development, the majority of residents are between the ages of 30 and 45, but this will change over time, so it was important to design this space so that it would appeal to a wide audience. Here we have several medium-sized platforms and urban furniture for relaxing in smaller groups, and one large wood platform for meeting in a larger group. The latter can be used by up to a dozen residents at a time. We also have toys for children, made of wood to match the other furniture and platforms. In addition, one of the paths is made of asphalt and allows children to draw on it with chalk and a freer choice of yard games, which are most often served by asphalt and chalk. Drawing on this path is indeed used by children - it's just a universal form of play, I think.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

interviewed: Dobrawa Bies

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