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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Cultural Center in Katowice, Poland by PA+U Rafał Mazur

 
March 18th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: PA+U Rafał Mazur 

The cultural center is located in the Dab district of Katowice in Poland –  an area known for mines and industry. The concept of the building links two  important aspects of the site. A green space connection is made from the  northern end traditional Silesian street to the southern border. The edge  between the building and green space is invisible. The roof in the plan of a  ‘Z’ shape rises from the ground level to two floors. The sectional form is  inspired by mines, as all of the programmatic utilities are located  ‘underground’. The building at the street level is integrated to promote  urban interaction.

Image Courtesy © Joanna Nowicka

  • Architects: PA+U Rafał Mazur
  • Project: Cultural Center
  • Location: Katowice, Poland
  • Photography: Joanna Nowicka
  • Building area: 1275sqm
  • Total floor area: 1677,84 sqm
  • Cubature: 7069,63 cubic meters
  • Year of built: end of 2013
  • Investor: City of Katowice
  • Team of architects: Rafal Mazur , Antonina Zygmunt , Piotr Glowacki , Krzysztof Mazanek , Marta Sacha
  • Structural Engineers: Rodryg Czyz, Jacek Zawadzki, Miroslaw Hutyrko

Image Courtesy © Joanna Nowicka

At ground level, there are two plazas intended to create  familiar public space. This is important, since the building is located on  the path connecting two main parts of the city. The form of the rising roof  is strictly functional. It fulfills the need of making a second independent entrance to the library, which is located on the second floor. The library  extends its use to be included on the green terrace above, allowing for open-air reading and privacy from the street hustle. The main hall of the building is a gallery area, which is accessible for pedestrians even after opening hours.

Image Courtesy © Joanna Nowicka

The interior materiality of the building is primarily  comprised of the combination of brick and stucco. As a contrast with these warm materials, the exterior skin is comprised of glass with steel  reinforcements. It is important that the cultural center maintain a sense of transparency that invites glimpses and promotes visitation. The detail of  the facade is minimalistic black banding; framing what is inside as being  activated and picturesque. The Mies Van der Rohe style façade of black steel  respects the memory of industrial mining.  This building initiates a variety of human interactions, as that is what  forms a culture.

Image Courtesy © Joanna Nowicka

It integrates open green area with narrow urban street,  provides a functional underground in contrast to the public first floor and  more private moving upwards, and makes a pedestrian path the place to stay  and be. This is done through pulling away the building form from its  boundaries both physically and experientially, thus creating a free form  setting for self-expression.

Image Courtesy © PA+U Rafał Mazur

Image Courtesy © PA+U Rafał Mazur

Image Courtesy © PA+U Rafał Mazur

Image Courtesy © PA+U Rafał Mazur

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Category: Cultural Center

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