Square Długosza

Square Długosza

Architect
toprojekt
Location
Raciborz, Poland | View Map
Category
Urban Green Spaces

Cities

Auditoriums

Square Długosza

toprojekt as Architects

Racibórz, like many cities after the war during the liberation by the Red Army, was almost completely destroyed. Eighty percent of the buildings were ruined, while the population was only three thousand out of the total fifty thousand. The reconstruction was carried out without taking into account the ownership rights, or even with the old urban structure - mainly the remains of the tenements were demolished, replacing them with free-standing housing blocks. The picturesque old town, which has been organically shaped for hundreds of years, has lost its former splendor. The last unhealed gap in the tissue of the old town is Square Długosza, occupying the area after close to former urban quarters, New Market Square and St. Marcel. This area - three times the size of the market - from the east and west is surrounded by long blocks of flats, from the north a gothic church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and from the south the remains of defensive walls with a prison tower. In practice, for years, the square serves as a municipal parking lot used occasionally for the organization of outdoor events. Numerous concepts for its development oscillated from converting it into city greenery and the shopping gallery, covering 100% of the square area and leaving no public space.

The presented concept returns to the historical urban layout and refers to the atmosphere of the past years.

The forms of the main blocks coincide with slightly simplified outlines of the four former quarters. A small street on the north-south axis is marked by a viewing axis closed on one side by a prison tower, and on the other by a church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the top level of the building, all four quarters are interlinked. In this part, the school's classrooms have been designed. This is one of the reminiscences of old times because for years a school was located near the parish church. On the ground floor, there are service and commercial rooms enriching the commercial aspect of the city. Middle floors will be used by both students of the school and the entire community of Racibórz. There are sports halls, an auditorium, and a dozen or so apartments. On the roofs of the building, there will be an open-air garden, from which one can view the entire city of Racibórz.

In order to restore the atmosphere of old times and as a reference to the architecture of the nearby Gothic church, clinker brick is used on the facade. The height of the designed building complex is comparable to the height of the surrounding buildings, and the dimensions of the blocks are maintained on the scale of the buildings of the Old Town. Two raised amphitheaters cover two sides of the building, this enables to create a quiet interior on the ground level where you can organize meetings and cultural events. The rooftop garden is designed to be in a natural, idyllic character with the use of native plant species. It will be a piece of beautiful Racibórz landscape in the heart of the city. At night the building stands out because of light visible through its openwork of brick façade.

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