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    COMPETITION ENTRY: The architectural concept of The Water Park in Szczecin, Poland. My project was the result of an international competition t… Read More
    COMPETITION ENTRY: The architectural concept of The Water Park in Szczecin, Poland. My project was the result of an international competition to design first water park. Together with arch. Irena Nowacka we tried to present our big passion for architecture. The Water Factory building brings people, sport and education into close contact. Read Less
Competition, Awarded Project
2nd stage of the competition
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Client: City of Szczecin
Gross Internal Area: 5,00 ha

Usable Area (I, Ia): 19 385,2 sqm
Total costs:
22 130 000,00 EUR
Project Year: 2016
Status: Competition 07-12.2016


Author: Kamila Buczkowska (kabustudio) + Irena Nowacka for metropolis architecture office
Collaboration with metropolis architecture office

My project was the result of an international competition to design first water park. Together with arch. Irena Nowacka we tried to present our big passion for architecture. The Water Factory building  brings people, sport and education into close contact.

The award-winning Water Factory is located in the center of Szczecin, approximately 100 kilometers from Berlin. Our plan for Water Factory is an attractive building, blending in with the context of the place, inviting to explore the area and the center.
Above all, the project take into account the tradition of his historical place, and complies with all safety and facility requirements as set out for such sites. At the same time, the new water factory might also became a new landmark and a symbol for the city of Szczecin.

The Zone:
Follow-up use of an ex-Gontynka area

"Gontynka" area where we located our competition project was a seasonal swimming pool complex, an area of about 8 hectares located in the center of Szczecin; with German history and closed since 2000. Currently, the place is primarily used as dog-run.

“Don’t solve problems. Pursue opportunities.”
Peter Drucker

The design, a factory-park, imagines building akin to the long wing spread out into the landscape. 

Water factory museum building is located in the northern part of the plot. Together we decided to leave a very attractive and well-connected areas in the south for the future investment for the city of Szczecin. As well as for us a very important foundation was to take advantage of the natural diversity of the land plot and to use every centimeter of the surface which was given to us. We used the natural terrain on the North to "hang" building over the slope to become some kind of gateway for the Water Park and because of the high difference to hide the height and volume of the building. An impact on the location also had analysis of the site, communication and openings. The building mediates between its neighbors, the iconic multistories skyscrapers from 60's and nature.
The main entrance to the proposed Water Park leads from the main street through the main alley, parking area or building.

Why should we give them only a building if everything around is more important?






Our design idea is based on a line. That was my main inspiration to planned the functions.
The axis connecting the North and the South by the main pedestrian route.
This logistic idea could work as a clearly wafinding and visual communication system for the area. The line came from a green alley with beautiful trees which we had to keep.


„The most successful strategies are visions, not plans.”
Henry Mintzberg

The idea of Water Park involves staging the investment. .
Based on the natural topography of the area and existing green alley we divided the area into a grid (plots=zones). The landscape is a grid structure that supports a variety of options and activities. New Park (area: 5ha) has been divided into a zones: quiet and loud. The main road which is the main pedestrian (alley) leads from the south to the pool area ("Area of Water") with dining area, and the zone part of the cultural and educational entertainment ("Area of Discoveries"), showing how the Water Factory works.

Our draft proposal is open to interpretation and flexible for sequencing and implementation. The project can be adjusted depending on the finances and needs of the City and residents of Szczecin. Our vision for this place is not a plan, but a flexible development strategy. Future plans for the suburban railway have to be taken into consideration (our alley can be extended).

Each area can contain other activities and perform other functions, designed to encourage the whole Park. Each zone can be created in a different time period as much as possible the development of the project. We wanted to created zones (plots) with different functions and atmosphere that every guest could find something for themselfs. The project is simulating the structure of the town ("Expo") where you can play with our plots like you are playing the puzzles. We think it could aims to apply an innovative approach to the entertainment center not just a given space to put a building.  In the future, there may arise Part II of the main building (according to the master plan).

Water Factory- New Gontynka was designed to be clear and functional building.
The project offers a hybrid program of a aqua park, a fitness center, wellness area and education centre - each with its own individual space.
Central to its core is a transparent 700 sq. meter " avenue " halle that displays all the main functions and divided building into parts: sport area, wellness & spa on the main level and water area with saunas, cultural and educational part with classrooms and water exhibitions on the another level with access directly to the park.
Our building suppost to redefining the boundaries between interior and exterior (Park) and proposing new and unexpected ways to think about Aquapark's idea.

Our building gives us refined but rather austere architecture but in a very light style.  The foundation of the concept was to design an elegant façade, which, with its length should be neither boring and definitely modern. We decided to use a material that can reflect light, water, green areas and act differently  in day and night. The main objective, which was placed by us during the analysis of the site was to design a compact solid blended into their surroundings. On the facade it can be create a reflection of the environment . The facade looks different depending on the season or the weather.

The facades are of single anodized (polished) aluminum sheets and full height insulated low-e glass. The floors are poured-in-place concrete. The outer shell of the building can work as a ring elevation made of perforated materiał.  The ring around the building façade is hanging at a distance of 2 m from the main façade- supported by steel truss. This pedestrian creates a gallery with The View.

The inspiration for the exploration of such elevation was creativity of Olafur Eliasson and installation "Ballon" (junya.ishigami + associates).

Can architecture be transparent?
Additional Part II (cultural and entertainment) has been designed so that its implementation could occur regardless of Part I (main building). The best part of this section is a unique gallery, which can contain
six or more space (as services, shops, cafes, daily childcare, media library or exhibition halls). We have created an open area of ​​3000 square meters. The entire space may become a public area. On the roof of Part II we can get off from the top of our main road (alley) and easly access to the gallery. For the facade we used a glass facade, partially folded. In that case the building can act as open hall to the public.

“ The building combines a strong architectural expression, beautiful line with elegant, and sophisticated facade with a deep sense of place and of potential” – words from the jury. Our project was the only one mentioned with big appreciation by the chairman of the jury.



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