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2024, Cracow, Poland
Public Building


   The project is an extension of a historic building that currently serves as a faculty of architecture. The amplification is about creating a multifunctional space that will be used for exhibitions, education and leisure time in between classes.

     Arcaded courtyards were common in this region of Poland, as seen in buildings such as the Royal Castle on Wawel Hill. The choice of arches at that time stemmed from limitations associated with the use of brick. Unlike concrete lintels, brick cannot close an opening in a straight line, necessitating the use of arches to utilize compressive forces along the curve. Although the Palace in Łobzów conceals its brick structure under plaster, the deliberate use of brick in the newly designed building as a prominent element pays homage to the original building material. In the spirit of Louis Kahn's wisdom that "a brick doesn't like to be painted" and "brick likes an arch," the project celebrates the inherent characteristics of masonry. Focusing on arches goes beyond mere formal aesthetics; they become integral structural elements shaping the entire building. This approach, emphasizing understanding and utilizing materials based on their inherent properties, provides a valuable lesson for aspiring architects.

     Recently, the concept of context has been abused in architectural criticism, and architects have institutionalized this concept, using a design methodology based on analyzing the environment in which the project is located. For those who practice such a method, architecture becomes a simple result of this analysis: the building practically arises dictated by the context. Understanding the relationship between place and architecture in this way means establishing a hierarchical order that ensures the harmonious interaction between the two. Using the same building materials, employing identical techniques, has always seemed the most respectful way to coexist with the existing historical context. But the use of quasi-historical building materials and techniques such as arches and brick does not exclude the contemporaneity of architectural form, thus creating a counterpoint that constitutes the attractiveness of the project.

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