Silesia University's Radio and TV Department

Studio: BAAS arquitectura
Authors: Jordi Badia
Location : Katowice, Poland
Video: BAAS arquitectura

General aspects: The new Silesia University's Radio and TV department is located on a vacant plot, inserted in a consolidated area of Katowice. The plot, mainly empty, contains an abandoned building which the client initially planned to demolish.

The project preserves this existing building, and adds an extension to it while protecting the character of the old; it also includes a lower height building occupying the interior block area which confers to the central courtyard the intervention's prominence.

Our design aims to be sensitive with the existing building aesthetics and takes advantage of its materiality and visual values by building on top of it an abstract volume made out of a brick latticework, which follows the neighbour's section.

The new building fills up the whole plot and at the same time hollows a central courtyard, becoming this, the key element for all the social activities taking place around the studios and lecture rooms at the new university department.

Why did you choose this category?: The new Silesia University's Radio and TV department would be included in the category of collective spaces for their desire to build the city. The design strategy for the building consists in not designing an iconic building, but to build and mend a piece of the city. To achieve this, we will need to observe the existing, find what makes it unique and gives it a special atmosphere and personality. To see a place from an outsiders' eyes and thus, better appreciate the beauty of its buildings, the proportion between mass and void, the patina of a darkened brick over the years, its characteristic dormers or the texture of the demising walls among others. And though this process, find the missing piece, one that maximizes the places' character, without the ambition of transforming it. At the same time understanding and showing respect for the preexisting and completing it. An approach in which architecture becomes secondary and decides to naturally insert itself.
No more intentions are necessary in the process. The building completes the block and follows the street alignment, merging with the preexisting shape and height. The exterior finish and color are taken from the inconspicuous existing building that the competition proposes to demolish. This ceramic texture will invade the interior spaces and give the unique atmosphere and lighting. The block patio aims to empower the existing exterior building texture qualities, bringing them to the interior of the block. A path along the interior patio will make for habitable spaces, and will allow for these strategies to become public and available. A linear staircase follows the entire height of the building, generating a space for students to gather when finishing classes, allowing though transparency to observe the movement from the interior patio, like extras in a movie.