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Passing Through. Warsaw University of Technology students' project in the finals of the competition

Dobrawa Bies
11 of March '21

Polish students also participated in the Bee Breeders platform competition, Yoga House on a Cliff. The Passing Through project by Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak and Natalia Rajchel from Warsaw University of Technology made it to the finals. The young architects created an elongated timber-framed building from which the picturesque Portuguese valley of Vale de Moses can be viewed during yoga practice.

Vale de Moses is a complex located in a region of central Portugal, run by a couple of British origin. The history of the place dates back to one of their travels in Europe, during which they came across an abandoned farm in the valley. The place captivated them to such an extent that they decided to settle here permanently. Over the course of an ostanitch four years, they managed to restore the stone cottages and clean up the adjacent green terraces, creating a world-class center for yoga practice. As their business grew, the need arose to expand the space for daily yoga sessions. Thus was born a competition held in cooperation with the Bee Breeders platform.

 Projekt Passing
Thorugh, elewacje

The building is located on one of the terraces of the hill

© Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak, Natalia Rajchel

yoga on the hill

The goal of the international competition was to design a facility that would allow the practice of yoga with an area of about 80 square meters, as well as ancillary rooms that included a kitchen, a place to store mats, toilets, showers and a garden where guests could gather for meditation after practice. The jury paid special attention to the ecological aspect of the design and its minimal interference with the surroundings. At the same time, the building had to provide protection from adverse weather conditions. Participants were obliged to take into account the recovery of rainwater, gray water and shape the complex in such a way that its energy self-sufficiency was possible. The organizers were looking for a design that would create an inspiring space, exemplify green building, and become a distinctive neighborhood landmark.

Dom jogi na wzgórzu Aksonometria obiektu jogi

The square module has its continuation in the form of a wooden pergola

© Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak, Natalia Rajchel

Warsaw University of Technology students in the final

The project Passing Through by Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak and Natalia Rajchel from Warsaw University of Technology made it to the finals of the competition. The students allocated one of the terraces located on the hillside overlooking the existing complex for the construction of the new building.

The starting point for shaping our concept was the oblong shape of the plot, which we translated into the linear character of the building. The masonry cubes at the first floor level are knitted into the main axis of the whole establishment, from which the view of the valley spreads, and the user remains all the time in visual contact with nature, the authors say.

wooden yoga house

The upper floor is a large room for yoga practice, which rests on brick cubbies. The practice space was illuminated by a strip of windows near the floor and a skylight in the roof. This solution ensures free air circulation. By limiting the area of the windows, the authors minimized the risk of the building overheating. Slitting the roof along its ridge allowed to illuminate the room and create an unusual atmosphere in the interior. The cubicles on the first floor house all the ancillary rooms - kitchenette, toilets, mat storage, dining room and relaxation space. A wooden structure made of doubled beams became the binding element of the whole establishment.

Wnętrze budynku jogi Wnętrze sali do medytacji

The yoga practice space was illuminated by a strip of windows near the floor and a skylight in the roof

© Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak, Natalia Rajchel

inscribing into nature

The imposed square module has its continuation on the outside, in the form of a wooden pergola, under which the garden growing between the platforms is located. The whole is covered by a gabled roof that corresponds to the neighboring buildings, covered with tiles characteristic of the region. Adjacent to the yoga room is a terrace, which on sunny days can be an extension of the room. Thus, it makes it possible to create an open, enlarged space for an exercise room or meditation area.

We wanted the building to be a contemporary look, using ecological solutions while respecting the traditions of local buildings. We did not want to dominate the landscape, but only to create an element that complements the existing buildings," explain the young architects.

Rzut domu jogi

The elongated plot influenced the shape of the building

© Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak, Natalia Rajchel

The proposed local materials - wooden construction or cork floors translate into lower construction costs and support for the local economy. On the slope below the complex, the authors placed solar panels for energy independence and a rainwater tank.

Projekt Passing

The facility is made of local materials

© Stanislaw Dawidziuk, Maria Lomiak, Natalia Rajchel

Read also about the project of kamecki.architecture studio, which also made it to the finals of the Yoga House on a Cliff competition. Vale de Moses also held a competition for the design of meditation cabins - the participating komorebi project was awarded third place, and honorable mention went to INSIDE|OUT by FALA Architektura.

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