Architecture - Kindergarten & Library
4.800 m2
Józefów, PL
Municipality of Józefów, SARP
Geoffrey Eberle, Magdalena Mróz, Paweł Marjański, Bartosz Dendura, Martyna Mądry

“The Nature Gate” is a proposal for a mixed use, consisting of a library and kindergarten in the Józefów Municipality in the outskirts of Warsaw. The plot is located in a unique, small forest, with tall pines and a delicate ecosystem in the heart of a residential suburb.

The project joins two rational boxes together with an umbilical cord, functioning simultaneously as a connecting rooftop playground and a gateway, celebrating the barrier between urban and nature. The two primary volumes are optimized to their own individual programmatic requirements, a strip typology with south-facing classrooms for the kindergarten, and a deeper more storage-like plan for the library, maximizing function, internal comfort, environmental response, and cost-efficiency. Located in the umbilical cord, the looser programs are found such as the internal gymnasium/playground for the kindergarten and a café space for the library. The inclined interior creates unique spatial qualities, allowing for a variety of creative usage, simple gestures yet maximum interactive capabilities.

“The Nature Gate” was an experiment into how compact we could organize the project. The project features two efficient floor plates, but then rather than placing the playground on the ground floor, instead children have the entire roof space for recreation. This move offered not only to create the coolest play space in the city, but also to prevent intervention and damage to the existing forest. Respecting the ecology, was more than a charitable offering – the local ecology is in fact the quality of the area.

Our project in Józefów, seeks to demonstrate the freedom wood offers through the gateway and shifting form but also with the high performative acoustic and warm interiors. “The Nature Gate” seeks to add to the growing body of examples that wood is not only a sustainable material, but also an exciting alternative to conventional 20th century construction methods.