A SQUARE WITH FLEXIBLE SKIN / ADJUSTABLE SHAPE OF SURFACE Undulating surface for Piłsudski’s Square competition in Poland
location: Pilsudski's Square, Wrocław, Poland
architects: Projektor Architekci / Szymon Bielenis S.LAB architektura / Tomasz Sachanowicz AHA Design / Zuzanna Sprogis
status: 3-rd prize in open competition
‘No man ever steps in the same river twice’ Heraclitus of Ephesus
For a fundamental principle on which the Universe is based Heraclitus regarded the change, which he identified with fire or flowing river (which is never twice the same). The dynamics of those elements reflects the image of the world – its movement and dynamice. Nevertheless this process is controlled by the ‘logos’ – wisdom.
While working on this competition entry we were looking at various forms of the square – we had a flat square, we had a hill – to sunbath on the hillside in the summer and to ski and sleigh in the winter. We thought about something like a sloping square next to the Town Hall in Siena. We wanted the possibility to arrange a skating ring there during the winter and a swimming pool in the summer. The square would be a place of meetings, a space for a weekly marketplace, a playground, a place for the sports, a place for the concerts and other artistic and cultural performances and happenings. Achieving the optimal surface for all those activities and programs ment to combie the opposites and seemed impossible … until we used our imagination and decided that the square will be changing it’s shape in time.
Our idea for the square is to give it the possibility to change, to adjust to actual, temporary and changing needs.
We also wanted our square to literally give something more to the surrounding buildings, to produce the energy for instance or to support the heating / cooling system of the nearby housing.
"defined by a flexible surface structure, the competition entry for Piłsudski’s Square in Wrocław, Poland changes according to the season. adjusting its various forms to suit the weather conditions, the normally flat public space is transformed into an undulating and varied landscape. during the warmer summer months, the elastic skin stretches to form an outdoor sunbathing hill, which in the wintertime can be used to ski and slide down. the flexible material also adjusts its color depending on the outside temperature – cold is represented by shades of blue, warm by green and moderate becomes a more turquoise color – with glowing elements enlivening the entire square at nighttime. the surface itself contains open pores that enable it to be drained from rain controlled sensors, the water is then filtered and either stored in the pool below, or used as spray for the fountain. this integrated system makes a swimming pool during the summer and an ice rink in the winter. the landscape’s shape can be adjusted through a grid of hydraulic cylinders that are attached to the membrane and controlled electronically. an aim for the project is to help produce energy for surrounding buildings, directly contributing to its environment." designboom.com