Ecological housing developement – project for “Spatial Inspirations” competition

A year ago I and my friend took part in “Spatial Inspirations” (“Inspiracje w Przestrzeni”) competition, organized by Polish magazine “Urban Greenery” (“Zieleń miejska”). Participants had to present their proposal for ecological housing developement and were free to choose the plot. See the description, masterplan and visualisations of our project below. I will be grateful for your comments – what you like and don’t like about our ideas, anything that comes to your head after reading and seeing it 🙂

The chosen site

For this work we chose a fragment of the Różanka housing developement in the north of Wrocław, Poland. The area is surrounded by six residential buildings (16 and 30 ms high) and at present is an empty, boring place, without any coherency. Most of its surface is covered with neglected grass. There is an artificial hill and some trees (most of all poplars and birches) in this setting.

Our proposals for ecological solutions

1. Stormwater management

Three dry bed streams collect water from one of the buildings’ gutters and lead it to some temporary water reservoirs. There grow water plants (eg. Typha latifolia, Phragmites communis, Sagittaria sagittifolia, Juncus sp., Carex sp., Acorus calamus, Iris pseudoacorus, Sparganium sp., Equisetum fluviatile) at the sides of the reservoirs, simoultaneously purifying their water.

2. Temperature reduction

The setting is exposed to the strong sun operation throughout the most of the day, and the temperature during summer reaches very high levels, therefore an attempt to reduce it is a need. Introduction of water elements and more greenery (trees, shrubs, grasses and creepers growing on the buildings elevation) could chill the air and change microclimate of this place to far more comfortable.

3. Biodiversity increase

We decided to increase the number of plant species by creating different habitats – water and meadow zones. You can find examples of plants suitable for water habitats above; for a meadow we suggest: Centaurea jacea, Cerastium holosteoides, Euphrasia rostkoviana, Plantago sp., Prunella sp., Achillea sp., Trifolium sp., Cirsium sp., Vicia sp., Phleum pratense, Poa sp., Festuca pratensis, Hypericum sp., Geranium sp., etc.

These new habitats will prove attractive for several animal species as well.

4. Ecological choice in illummination and small architecture objects

We chose LED Generation luminaires, because they allow ecological light emission.

The small architecture objects that we suggest in the project (benches, seats, dustbins) are made of natural materials (like wood).

Surfaces proposed by us (paths, recreational zone and relaxation zone surfaces) are water permeable. We decided only to leave asphalt surface on the street leading along the buildings, where residents drive and park.

Conception charasteristic – the shape

The shape of the conception, with its geometrical elements, refers to the way the buildings are arranged. The geometry is broken by the circular lines of the paths and dry stream beds, together with the greenery scheme.

Zones

The site was designed for residents of the surrounding buildings – children, young people, adults and the elderly. Because of a very diverse group of users, we proposed several zones offering varied possibilities for spending time outdoors.

1. Playscapes

This zone is covered with water permeable, ecological surface. Besides made of natural materials devices for children to play and develop their fitness, benches for parents and grandparents, you can find water reservoirs here, so the kids may have the possibility to learn to know, love and respect nature.

Playscapes are isolated from other zones and from the street with abundant greenery (shrubs and tufty grasses, like Physocarpus opulifolius, Spiraea sp., Sorbaria sorbifolia, Cornus alba, Symphoricarpos albus, Pyracantha coccinea, Miscanthus sp.).

2. Recreational zone

It is also covered with ecological, water permeable surface. There is an outdoor gym with equipment for training located in this zone.

3. Relaxation zone

This zone consists of benches and seats situated in the shadow under the crowns of the bigger trees and in niches among the shrubs. We used some elements of soundscapes to make this place more comfortable and pleasant for the people spending their time there – the sounds of water in reservoirs and rustle of wind in Miscanthus grasses will let them relax well for sure.

The criteria for choosing plant species for the area is first of all resistance to tough urban conditions (air pollution, drought) and photophilia.

             MASTERPLAN

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             VISUALISATIONS (the whole area, playscapes, relaxation zone and recreational zone)

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              A MODEL WE PREPARED FOR VISUALISATION

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Floss-bracelets

I sygnalized in my previous posts that I make floss-bracelets. They stand original accesories and look great individually as well as set with other jewellery. I really enjoy making them; this activity is, next to watering big amounts of trees and shrubs in the garden ;), one of the most relaxing I know. The best part is that each one of those bracelets can be unique, because there are so many possibilities in choosing patterns and colours.

Today I’m showing you some of the bracelets I made recently. If you like any of them, I shall be delighted 😀

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I will upload pictures of the other floss-bracelets patterns very soon. I say ‘good night’ to you now, as it is 11.30 pm here in Poland 🙂

Living picture – attempt 1!

I planned to make a living picture long ago.  Living pictures are a variation on living walls – very popular in some countries. In Poland it is very difficult to maintain them – because of winter period, which is sometimes very harsh. Living pictures can be kept inside, so they are not exposed to difficult weather conditions.

A few days ago I and my friend made our first living picture, using stonecrops (Sedum sp). It is our first attempt, so we still think about improvements and diffrent plants that could be used.

Living pictures can prove very original ornamenst hung on walls of apartmenst, cafes, restaurants, hotels, etc.

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Annual exibition at the Wrocław Centre for Visual Arts

Last time I wrote a pretty long text and published few photos. This time, so that you don’t get bored, very few words and many pictures 🙂 I present my photos from annual exhibition at the Wrocław Centre for Visual Arts, where I attend drawing and computer graphic classes. All works were created at the Studio of Drawing and Painting and the Studio of Ceramic and Glass Art.

Enjoy 😀

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Some of my works 🙂

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Something to chill you – the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

It is incredibly hot in Wrocław today and I found some pictures, taken on a cool October day, that might help stand the weather 😉 see then the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark (very close to Copenhagen), and its beautiful surroundings. Enjoy 😀

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Me walking through the installation. Picture taken by my friend and room-mate, Ala 🙂

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Picture taken by Ala

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Me and Ala

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Picture taken by Ala

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Art workshops for parents and children, picture taken by Ala

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Picture taken by Ala

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Ala and me by the Museum sea shore

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Find more about the Museum here 🙂