Due to its relatively small size and the diagonal position of one of the walls, determined by the road planned next to it, the gabled, cuboid building has taken on the characteristic stubby shape. Since there are only six flats inside it, the window openings create a unique composition on the façades. All the flats and the attic with storage units are served by a single staircase. Simple materials were used to finish the building: coarse mineral render, steel sheeting and wooden slats.
A simple and low-cost residential building commissioned by one of the suburban housing associations. It refers to the typology of single-stairwell, two-storey blocks of flats from the 1950s, which form the walls of the square adjacent to Szkolna Street in Siechnice. The building complements the idea from half a century ago, but does not pretend to date back to that time. It provides simple, inexpensive and therefore affordable housing for 17 families, without unnecessary expenditure on underground car park, costly façades or other gadgets. If we were to call it in one word, it would be “decent.”
The overall expression of the building was determined by a desire to complement the existing urban structure with elements of the same scale and similar character. The development in this part of Brochów consists of multi-family houses with simple forms, plastered façades and steep roofs surrounding Plac Mongolski. By adhering to the same urban planning principle, the designed building does not create a dissonance and contributes to the ordering of the existing spatial situation. The simple, modern finishing materials correspond with the textures and colours of the neighbouring older buildings.
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 Two last storeys have been withdrawn and free space has been assigned for residents’ view terraces.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.
We made this small project with intention to organize and revitalize the space of a typical courtyard between 19th century townhouses. We also wanted, perhaps manifesting a bit, to decontaminate a piece of the city. Summer in the city without greenery is gradually more and more difficult to endure. Hence the idea to create a comfortable space, giving shelter from the sun, being both an extension of our office and a meeting place for residents of the tenement. The form of the terrace was designed for easy accessibility for all users – a low platform, equipped with fixed furniture, arranges the space using simple forms.
This is one of our smallest projects ever done. To realize it we removed from soil 30m2 of concrete. First of all we arrangeded an arboristic care for magnificent glandular aylanthus (aka ‘Mietek’), which was placed in the central part of our terrace. Among others, sanitary and care cuts of the crown as well as loosening and aeration of the soil structure were carried out. The existing tree provides natural protection from the sun on hot summer days.
The terrace is made of narrow 5.5 cm x 2.65 cm boards, spaced at 1 cm intervals, which creates an openwork structure that does not block the natural absorption of rainwater by the soil. To make a terrace, we used certified softwood, which came from forests where sustainable forest management is carried out. We consciously decided not to use chemical wood preservatives – thanks to that we did not introduce about 10 liters of oils, which are based on solvent, into the environment. The wood species we have chosen (Siberian larch) has natural resistance to weather conditions and even without any chemical maintenance it will serve us for at least 10-15 years. Over time, its natural color will be covered with a gray patina.
After freeing another 40m2, we designed a garden. Filling this small area with numerous shrubs and perennials will ensure lush, dense, understory greenery in the future. We also planted two beech trees, which will create a natural protection from the sun for the southern, strongly sunny elevation of the building. The entire 70m2 has become a biologically active area and helps us to better manage rainwater within the courtyard.
We invited all residents of the tenement house to the first phase of the project (cleaning the courtyard). We did something like a neighbourhood co-op, bought tools, plants and ordered transport. The terrace itself was made by a professional company. After all of this we had a barbecue, which lasted until the early morning hours.
It is a special project because it does what we care most about – it builds the city. It’s not just about housing, it can be done by everyone. Angel River also delivers added value for the city through the revitalisation impuls, which we hope will have a positive impact on the surroundings. Angel River is a continuation of the development carried out in the first phase under the trade name Angel Wings, and it’s just another part of a larger whole. It forms a compact block of development that opens up with semi-private interiors to the Oława river, while on the other side it co-creates high quality public space, creating an enclosure for the downtown square. The remaining walls of this space will be built in subsequent stages of the investment, already creating one of the first contemporary downtown spaces in Wrocław. Additionally, the tower building is a height accent which marks the presence of the new residential complex within the dense urban fabric of Przedmieście Oławskie. It is worth emphasising here that the buildings of the Angel River complex “spill over” in a positive way into the immediate surroundings, creating public and semi-public spaces also outside the area which directly belong to the investor, and in this way they bring new quality into the city.