Little Lifting of Space: The entrance pavilion with a lift shaft at Secondary School No. 10 in Gliwice (Poland).
Sometimes a little touch can generate a significant change. The idea, so close to our way of thinking, becomes the base for most our projects. Also in this project we tried to create architecture that coexists and carries a dialogue with the context on many levels: urban, architectural, cultural, sociological and social.
The project involves a school building from 19th century that was built according to classical principles of spatial composition with distinctive tectonics and spatial articulation. The building creates a quarter with the inner courtyard. This architecture, a historical building, is now the background for the energy and movement of its daily users – the young - students of the school.
This contrast was our inspiration to create a small but non-trivial extension of the object - an additional entrance to the building and a lift intended for people with disabilities - an entrance hall with a lift shaft. The extension is located in the front courtyard of the school.
Educational character of the building was an additional impulse for reflection and discussion about architecture and design. Eventually we designed an object other than the existing ones but at the same time blending in with the context of the place. The object intentionally dissociates from the historical background, yet it establishes a common understanding with its users. It is unfamiliar to “routine” and “patterns” but favorable to “play” and “education”.
Facing such a demanding context we looked for solution that would complement in the best manner to the original spatial arrangement of the building referring however, both functionally and formally, to the opportunities and aspirations of modern architecture - including such aims as: to educate, to emphasise individuality, to stimulate public discussion.
The project is dominated by the principle of contrast in relation to the existing building which resulted with an object with a spatial form of "architectural sculpture”. Contrast, dynamics, youth, freshness, fun, freedom – the features describing the users became an inspiration for our architecture.
Thanks to setting together basic solids – a vertical cuboid and a horizontal entrance hall on the historical background we obtained the effect of contrast. The lightness in the project was reached by "detachment" of a concrete "strip" of the pavilion from the ground by raising and glazing the entry level. The aspects of liberty and joy were implemented by the use of colors, changes of geometry of the pavilion and the "cut" of lift block - three-dimensional column of the shaft.
We believe that it is reasonable to distinguish and emphasise the difference of a newly-designed part from the original building for educational reasons – to underline the distinctiveness of time. This raises the awareness of users (here teenage students) of the constantly occurring civilization changes - cultural, social, technical and technological. Architecture is also changed by the time and it should express the contemporary state of civilization, the idea of space and illustrate the technical possibilities. Architecture, as a part of the culture should shape and influence the user’s aesthetic sensitivity and attitudes which is especially important at young age.
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