On 15 May 2017, the competition jury consisting of representatives of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency as well as renowned Polish architects and urban planners announced the winners of the competition and thus ended the second stage of the architecture and urban planning competition for the design of the new head office and campus of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency to be erected in Reguły near Warsaw. We won first place. On a plot of an area of 168,075 m2, we designed a complex of buildings of a total net area of nearly 66,000 m2, comprising a building to house the head office, an operating centre, a social and recreational building, parking lots, technical buildings and auxiliary buildings.
Urban planning as the Founding Idea
Despite the description of the competition as an architectural and urban planning competition, we assumed that the urban planning part would be of most significance in this particular case. It is not the architecture of the individual buildings that creates the utmost value of a contemplated project as a whole but the meticulous shaping of the space between the buildings designed. High quality architecture is an undisputed must, but even the most beautiful buildings will not create quality public space on their own. Top notch public space is formed via excellent urban planning; via planning that is clear, easy to remember, uncomplicated, of varied intensity and diverse.
This is why in our project we designed a predominant linear space: a long pedestrian alley highlighted by a linear water reservoir. There is also an extensive recreational centre consisting of buildings of different sizes among which a natural courtyard, atria and passages are created. The office building to house the head office of the agency will have two main interior courtyards and two smaller, more intimate terraces on the roofs. The same design solution was adopted with respect to the building of the future operating centre which is traditionally closed and hermetic by nature. It is the buildings, all together, that create the composition, they are indispensable of course, but between them there is free, diverse space. The spaces created between the different structures are open, more intimate, and linear, they permit the free flow of air. There is space to breath, there is distance, and all these spatial elements intertwine with the sites dedicated to human relations and public life. This space restores the feeling of community after hours on end spent, often in solitude, at work, filled to the maximum with job assignments.
Human relations as the Priority
We cannot turn back the time to restore urban life as it was a few hundred years ago when pedestrian traffic dominated the streets and when the city was experienced at a different pace, much less intensively than now. Today, however, there are cars, über fast trains, ultrafast aircraft, and, last but not least, there is the hyper fast Internet which is the reason behind today's technological revolution and – according to sociologists – the culprit behind the weakening of social relations. We should not permit these attributes of modernity and civilizational development to blight public life and direct human contacts – we should persistently long for the ancient ways of experiencing a city grounded on direct relations between people.
The Campus as the Aspiration Catalyst
This perfect space, combined with various functions and volumes of the proposed buildings where pedestrian traffic was given priority and cars have been forgotten and “abandoned” outside the proposed urban and architectural project, was dubbed the Campus. Its space is shaped with well-thought-out architecture, not fanciful but minimalistic in nature, and is based on a system of rectangles and a small number of floors, which significantly reduces construction costs. We paid special attention to safety – the designed site is to safeguard data in line with world-class security standards.
The Campus is not formed by a group of separate buildings loosely connected by function, as might be the case with complexes of sites which are not part of a single project. The Campus is much more than just a little town – it is an environment that will not only serve as a workplace but a space where its occupants can pursue their life passions, rest and maintain relationships with one another – the Campus is an aspiration catalyst of sorts.
We believe in the causative power of beautiful places, designed with care and attention across the entire creative process, from the overall urban space down to the tiniest architectural detail.
The Dedeco design team: Piotr Hofman, Małgorzata Hofman, Anna Puta, Michał Rzewuski, Dagna Grochowska, Wioleta Bowsza, Bogumiła Rodzik, Tomasz Bierzanowski, Wojciech Lipka, and Piotr Zieliński as collaborator.
The activities of the PANSA
“Air traffic control, aeronautical information services, alerting services, planning air traffic flow above Poland, airspace occupancy coordination, reporting offices management, publishing and updating aviation publications are just some of numerous activity areas of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA). The PANSA is the only “supplier” of such services in Poland.”
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