A NATURUM FOR THE RIVER
1 151 m2
The point of departure for our proposal was perception of the river as the main factor propelling the trade, industry and transport development. It was a fascination of the amount, mass and materiality of the goods that flew through the city harbour during the time. We came up with a simple and quite obvious idea of a building as a pile, that is not straightly built from a material, but rather ‘stores’ the material in its structure. A material that is ‘untouched’, as if it was just ready for use.
The river banks has undergone constant changes and modifications since their appearance. Things- even buildings- appeared, disappeared, were moved from one place to another. Everything seems to be temporary and provisional. Today the situation is not very different. The harbour is to undergo significant postindustrial changes. Character of our building- a pile of wood tightened up with some fixtures- tries to reflect this instability and constant flow. It seems to be ready to be dismantled and ‘release’ its material, so that it can be used for other purposes.
In the urban context, our site is quite special not only because of it’s today’s communication significance. Its position on the corner of the canal and the river is something worth emphasizing. It is the place from where a long perspective penetrates the city along the axis of the canal, creating a connection between the centre and the river. We wanted our building to be an urban dominant both from the boulevard going along the river banks and from the canal perspective.
Structurally, the wood is stored on a metal skeleton in the plinth. It lifts the building above the ground level, so that it does not obstruct the communication passageways. Thus, the form has been given a certain abstraction- a heavy and clumsy pile of wood put on a thin legs. Our pile is modular. The functional disposition of space is subject to a rigid construction grid. The structure consists of six ‘containers’. The centrally located staircase enables to meet them in a sequence, so that the guest makes a full loop going up and down from the entrance to the exit.
Competition proposal in collaboration with arch. Wojciech Purski