Makers’ Maze is a winning entry for Europan 15 competition for Vierhavensblok in Rotterdam. The choice of this site was motivated by my ongoing fascination with post-industrial locations and informal urban spaces. This Rotterdam harbour became an opportunity for the continuation of my prior research and another attempt to design authentic party of the city, rooted in its context and its history. [ show more ]
Robert van der Pol
In Vierhavensblok affordable, flexible warehouses are ready to use while outdoor spaces support the buildings’ functions by providing enough room for storage and delivery, so needed for the makers. Striking emptiness on the site is juxtaposed with few existing buildings. It takes a while to discover all the narrow passages, workyards, and alleys hidden behind or nestled in between long facades, sheds and fences. While not yet easily accessible, these features have great potential to become an intriguing piece of the city. [ show more ]
The streets and squares of the masterplan are defined by the surrounding architectural volumes, both new and existing. Learning from the buildings on the site the proposed architecture doesn’t consist of autonomous buildings but interconnected clusters of diverse volumes and functions. Surrounding and defining public spaces, they consist of blocks of different shapes and heights. [ show more ]
In 2015 I explored Zabłocie: a post-industrial site in my home city Kraków, Poland. There I proposed a Craft and Design School that would enhance the private and intimate nature of craft, building on the specific qualities of the location. The project focuses on the relation of buildings and outdoor spaces. Exciting balance between the coherent character of the spaces (their continuity) and the individual nature of the objects creating them (collage of scales, materials and colours) is the foundation of the project. [ show more ]
The project fits in between existing structures and consists of various buildings and series of outdoor spaces that together create school of Craft and Design. The buildings and squares between them serve diverse functions (workshops, sports hall, classrooms etc.) and together form a platform for interaction for different groups of users. Spaces are interconnected and create a route through the campus. [ show more ]
Analysing the existing structures and spaces it becomes apparent that, often in a self-made way, architecture adjust its shape, color and scale to the outdoor squares. Spaces in between the buildings are something perceived as a whole, contrary to objects (buildings), therefore architecture follows them, not the other way around. In the project proposal facades of the new buildings respond to their surrounding changing their shape and materiality. [ show more ]
Izabela Slodka studied in Cracow, Poland and a Delft University of Technology, where she received her master's degree in 2016. Her project “Collage and Continuity” was nominated for Young Talent Architecture Award – part of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, organised by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. After winning Europan 15 competition in 2019 with her proposal Makers’ Maze, she founded her own studio.
Both “Collage and Continuity” and “Makers’ Maze” illustrate Iza’s fascination with post-industrial sites. They are part of ongoing research focusing on unique spatial and material qualities of these, often forgotten, parts of the cities. She is looking for existing conditions that attract makers, designers, creating vibrant and creative atmosphere.
Informal and organic character of these sites encourage freedom and unexpected to happen, enhancing the idea of untamed and exciting urban environment. This city ecology is built over time and consist of different elements and layers, allowing various participants and functions to coexist.
Recurring interest is a collage of elements and their relation to each other: in terms of building and outdoor space, structure and cladding, materiality and color. Architecture is treated as an envelope of a public space rather than an independent structures, unless emphasized otherwise. Urban space, landscape and buildings are always designed together as an integral parts of the same concept.