CENTREVILLE Drobnera Wrocław

 

The building fills in the quarter bounded by Drobnera and Śrutowa Streets, directly adjacent to a 19th century tenement house with rich eclectic decor. This part of the city centre is heavily invested, has a clear urban structure with defined quarters of streets and squares. Centreville complements the historical frontage of Drobnera Street, crucial for the Nadodrze district. As in the case of the neighboring building, the corner of Drobnera and Śrutowa Streets is accented with a flanking accent. Two last storeys have been withdrawn and free space has been assigned for residents’ view terraces.

On the most exposed elevations, solid brick was used, a material with both functional (resistance to urban conditions and passage of time) and decorative qualities, characteristic for this part of the city. The elevation glitters with several shades of browns and grays.  The composition is complemented by large wooden windows and aluminum bands around them. It is important for contemporary buildings to fit into the urban tissue without ostentation and pretension to dominate.

WEST4 BUSINESS HUB

WEST4 BUSINESS HUB office building; WROCŁAW, NA OSTATNIM GROSZU st.

Set in the chaotic urban fabric, the object was planned to clearly define the basic city elements of the new quarter of office buildings. Simple form, classic divisions, limited palette of colors, reduced means of expression, repeatability and modularity were the guidelines that gave direction to all design decisions. The façade of the building is a derivative of its function, to ensure the possibility of changes and adaptation of the interior, properly illuminate the surface. All decorations were minimized in order to maintain the rhythm and contrast of light and shadow, the only medium left in the composition of the office building.
The main entrance is accentuated with a two-story arcade.
In the interiors (common areas) natural materials (wooden cladding) and decorative greenery were used.

School and Kindergarten Complex Cynamonowa Street Wrocław

GRAU’S GARDENS

 

Careful revitalization of a neo-gothic palace from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, respecting the garden layout and harmoniously adding an intimate apartment part, restores the historical urban fabric of Wrocław. In the recultivated internal park (approx. 1650m2) with a playground, the priority of old trees (hawthorns, English oak) was preserved. Subdued colors and stylish illumination (ecological LED systems) emphasize the historical, modernist context. The dominant character of the historic palace was highlighted by stylistic economy of the new apartment part and elegant landscaping, organising the spontaneous self-seeding, designing unpaved surface in the form of light gravel and simple, high quality elements of small architecture: benches, waste bins, bicycle racks. On the one hand, the buildings constitute a frame for the park complex, on the other – they create the setting of Gdańska Street, combining the open character of the plot with the scale of the surrounding quarter plan, referring to its height and continuing the line of development. Around the buildings, on a part of the site, we designed gardens belonging to the apartments located on the first floor. The semi-public park serves the local community. The openwork fence does not isolate the area.

WŁADYSŁAW IV’s, GDYNIA

MŁYN MARIA – MARIA MILL

The Mill complex is located on the Odra river channel separating the Piasek and Mlynska Islands. It stood in this place already in 1267, although the current shape of the complex after the reconstruction caused by fire was created according to the design of Fredrich Wilhelm Brunnert in 1791-1792. Current form of the Maria Mills does not differ substantially from the Brunnert’s project. As a result of the destruction of World War II, the original higher volume was replaced with a 3-storey front connector, on which the characteristic logo of the complex appeared at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. This image of the Mills (low connector, logo) is an image that Wroclaw citizens identify with the historic character of this place. The aim of the project was to preserve this image and to honor the collective memory. We enriched this image with an intimate, green square.

The sequence of Piasek and Mlynska Island is complemented by Bielarska and Slodowa Islands. Thanks to the reconstruction of the gate passage and the pier on the western side, Piasek and Mynska Island gained another pedestrian connection. Additionally, the north-western zone of the plot was shaped in the form of an escarpment levelling the ground level, hiding an underground garage and serving as an open public space for the inhabitants of Wrocław. Trees were planted on the upper platform of the slope, and the stairs were enriched with benches and low vegetation – so that the view of the river and the canal, which is an important element of the assumption, would not be obscured.

The building complex was a difficult engineering and conservation/preservation challenge. Apart from the buildings, the canals with the existing infrastructure (related to the previous function of the object), which was heavily damaged by time and the flood of 1997, also required renovation. The entire complex was under strict conservator’s protection. The existing window openings in the mill facility were enlarged leaving the original opening visible and varying the degree of transparency of the added glazing. As a result, the lighting conditions of the apartments were improved, and the original disposition of the façade was preserved.

The extension of the building, together with the extension of the infill and the western connector, was constructed in a different material – perforated corrugated sheet consisting of fixed elements and mechanically controlled window louvers. The difference between the new and the existing is clear, and depending on the amount of light, weather or temperature, the building takes on a different form through the number of open or closed elements.

3840 WITOLDA STREET

3840 Witolda Street is another example of a place reclaimed for the citizens of Wrocław and a dialogue with the pre-war, post-German urban fabric. The building was constructed in 1907 on Werderstrasse as the headquarters of the Main Customs Office (Hauptzollamt Breslau), on land adjacent to the former city port. The two-part project involved the renovation of the original building and the construction of a residential and service pavilion in the riverside area. The distinctive mass of the historic part dominates over Ksiecia Witolda Street with its height and façade, rhythmic rows of large windows, and eclectic style and hybrid construction. The characteristic wooden turrets on the river side were to refer to the earlier wooden port buildings. The body of the building has a U-shaped plan, with the main wing on the side of Księcia Witolda Street and two side wings, topped with a high gabled roof, marking out the inner courtyard. It performed economic functions, and the presence of the river was used purely utilitarian. However, as more and more urban life is developing along the Oder – restaurants, promenades, cycle lanes – we decided to change its character – from a pre-war backwater to a metropolitan boulevard in line with existing solutions in the area, revitalising and activating the Oder riverfront. The newly built pavilion with flats and premises intended for restaurants and cafés formally reduces the height of the second-plan development, creates a second, more accessible frontage on the Oder side, and the stylistic simplicity is intended to realise our intention of a discreet, light and elegant presence in this historic place. Dialogue does not mean imitation. The intimate scale and simplicity of the pavilion “disarms” the site from the hieratic dominance of the historic building. High-quality materials were used in the restoration of the original elements; also the front elevation, crowned with two gables finished with stone snails – was under strict conservation protection. The windows, stained-glass windows, tiles and polychrome were renovated and, if necessary, reconstructed. We tried to respect the style of the place, the historical context in Wrocław means German past and German architectural traditions and urban planning.

PHILPHARMONIC IN PŁOCK

16 PTASIA STREET, WROCŁAW

56 WYSZYŃSKIEGO STREET, Wrocław