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A lump of light. Design of the Camerimage European Film Center by WXCA.

20 of September '21

The recently decided competition for the design of the building of the CAMERIMAGE European Film Center in Toruń also involved a team from Warsaw's WXCA studio, consisting of Szczepan Wroński, Andrzej Bulanda, Michał Czerwiński, Anna Majewska-Karolak, Zuzanna Rosińska and Michał Sokołowski. The architects, who have won many competitions in recent years, this time opted for a compact in form, though subtle and ethereal in expression "light-sensitive".

makieta projectmakieta projectmakieta project

project mockup


bold visions of the future

The concept of the Camerimage European Film Center [...] is a vision of a space that inspires experiencing and seeking new takes on the surrounding reality. A space for integration, exchange; sharing reflections, observations, creativity," write its authors, architects from the WXCA studio, about the project. - The presented vision is to offer an attractive, balanced concept for the development of space on the borderland between the fabric of the medieval city and the post-war substance, integrated with the green, boulevard-like parkland surrounding downtown Toruń. The desired balance between historical continuity-continuity and building new perspectives and takes on the surrounding reality is to inspire new, creative, critical and bold visions of the future, they add.

According to the architects, the complex of Toruń's ECFC is to create an accessible setting that remains in relationship with its surroundings, referring to the city's past - with forms reminiscent of the geometry of military buildings or an open-air auditorium marking the course of a former moat - and drawing on the nearby park-like setting.

The disjointed, compact masses of the facility, the concept's authors write, give way to greenery, thus creating urban interiors conveniently linked to transportation routes, which, they emphasize, will allow the facility's internal program to expand to include external activities such as outdoor film screenings, cultural events or exhibitions.

przenikanie boulevard layout with ECFC developmentprzenikanie boulevard layout with ECFC developmentprzenikanie boulevard layout with ECFC development

Penetration of boulevard layout with ECFC development


Key in the formation of forms is the focus on solutions, providing a spatial setting and inspiration for a multitude of programmatic and spatial scenarios. The entire composition is intended to co-create and reinforce the feeling of continuity of a lively, recreational, linear park establishment on a city-wide scale, the architects emphasize.

brama do
średniowiecznego miasta

gateway to the medieval city


A contemporary gateway to a medieval city

The ECFC building, as conceived by architects from the WXCA studio, is intended to be a symbolic, spatial gateway leading to the oldest part of the city (from the northern and western directions) on the one hand, and to blend into the fabric of the medieval streets from the south and east on the other. The gabarites of the multi-component building relate to the surrounding buildings, and its disjointed, tectonic body creates a variety of frames, plans and spaces. The building, the authors write, is an interactive installation for contemporary cinematic art, with its walls forming large-scale screens and backdrops.

światłoczułość bryły

cross section


The facades, extensive shells of exterior and interior walls like multi-plane, large-surface (light-sensitive) screens are to create a dynamic spectacle reflecting natural, weather, atmospheric phenomena, to record and transmit in real time a changing image - conditioned by the direction from which viewers (moving people) observe, the quality and angle of light. Depending on the angle of incidence, the sun's rays penetrate (in autumn and winter) into the interior, heating the massive interior walls, or reflect, shading the interior (in summer), the designers explain.

światłoczułość bryły

cross section


technology and ecology

The functional-spatial arrangement of the compact masses, the architects add, is based on an essentially orthogonal structure with a clear geometry, which allows a rational and therefore ecological and economical disposition of the program inside.

Spaces in the facility are connected by an underground corridor that allows for the transportation of equipment, while spectators can move between buildings through tracts that allow for the temporary separation of zones. Due to its function, the building is filled with technical solutions allowing to create excellent acoustic conditions - the cinema halls, festival hall and film studio are protected from noise by a box-in-box system, these rooms are also covered by computer modeling of interior acoustics. In the main hall, moreover, a revolving stage and a mobile staircase are planned, among other things.

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lump of the European Film Center Camerimage


In the building, the designers also focused on pro-ecological solutions based on such phenomena as, among others, thermal accumulation of massive elements, management (flowing, evaporation) of rain, appropriate composition and materialization of planes exposed to the sun's rays (heating, shading, absorbing, giving back, processing of solar energy). Moreover, rooms that do not require natural light were placed underground, and green roofs with marsh gardens were also introduced.

As emphasized by architects from the WXCA studio, an important issue in the context of this investment is the aspect of creating environmental awareness.

Preferred solutions based on simple, familiar phenomena can be directly felt, perceived by users of the space. Positive sensations of the variability of nature experienced through the multitude of atmospheric phenomena designed on the large-scale, light-sensitive shells of the tectonic composition - are to inspire reflection on creativity, culture and nature, the relationship between man and the environment, inspire the creation of new, forward-looking visions of the present and a wise, better future, the designers explain.

compiled by:
Ola Kloc

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