Team Representative: Borys Kozlowski (PL) – architect
Associate: Barbara Jakubowska (PL) – architect
Schaepmanstraat 46, 3027CD Rotterdam (NL)
+31 684053037 – firstname.lastname@example.org
B. Kozlowski & B. Jakubowska
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The idea of forming a team appeared soon after graduating from the architectural department at TU Delft with projects that focused on the notion of hybridity and re-appropriation of forgotten spaces. We both share mutual interests and views about the future of our cities. We had had a long discussion about prospective situation of Polish housing before the competition was announced. When we got to know the theme of Europan 14 we were excited to test our ideas in the challenging topic in the capital of our home country.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
In principle, we have defined three problem statements, which formed the basis for project's strategy. The post-war Warsaw is inseparably connected to production. Many post-industrial sites still await the regeneration to cherish city's history and embrace the uniqueness of that condition. We understood that production cannot be considered as entirely homogenous and needs to be treated in the context of different scales. Thirdly, we targeted current insufficiency of a flexible public space, an arena for interaction, free for appropriation and sharing ideas.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
We are proposing the re-investigation of leftover post-industrial sites as a whole. These areas, the urban hubs, could be triggered and mixed with the fabric of Warsaw as vital incubators of urban life. We developed a matrix of typologies suggesting that multiple types of dwellings can be linked with diverse scales of production divided into three different scales: small, medium and large. Where needed production and housing were mediated through a threshold space. It is a physical space where users of neighbouring programs could relate to each other. This axis became a new type of flexible urban street, where events could take place. It appeared on a local level and became a strategically crucial element introduced in the hubs in order to trigger back to life the post-industrial zones in the capital's context.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have been involved with projects that revolved around transformation and hybrid use of space. We developed the idea for the project based on our believes and were inspired by variety of factors, mostly resulting from observing cities on the daily basis. Throughout the years spent in Poland we investigated mono-blocks, which history had greatly influenced the concept, as well as unforeseen, surprising and sometimes even odd combinations of functions experienced while living and traveling abroad.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
One of the main factors defying our concept was the disbelief that a masterplan, a top-down approach, is an only valid tool to develop the modern city with its ever-changing dynamics. Therefore we based our project on the idea of an open framework that defines only the key elements and embraces the development and the morphable characteristic as the time progresses.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
This is the first time we have ever taken part in the Europan competition. We are honored to be one of the finalists. We consider it a head-start for our independent career. We are very excited to be a part of Warsaw's future development and believe that our ideas have a potential for implementation, further study and research.