NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS : concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Full concept/idea title
“No fences” - temporary social housing estates in undeveloped urban areas
“No fences” is a project of prefabricated residential buildings system used to create temporary housing estates in urban wastelands. The project tries to confront the current problems faced by the inhabitants and authorities of Polish cities. It was developed with particular attention to housing accessibility issues, creating local communities, sustainable building technologies as well as efficient use of urban land.
Where is your concept/idea being developed or intended to be implemented in the EU?
Dobra st. 22/24 apartment 31
II. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea
“No fences” is a project of prefabricated residential buildings system used to create a temporary housing estates in urban wastelands. The project tries to confront the current problems faced by the inhabitants and authorities of Polish cities. It was developed with particular attention to housing accessibility issues, creating local communities, sustainable building technologies as well as efficient use of urban land. The basic unit of the project is a one-storey single-family house with a usable area of 33 m2. Along with the changing needs of the residents, the building can be gradually expanded with three additional modules. With this solution, it is suitable for both a single person and a family of five. The estate consists of a group of eight residential buildings and an additional common building serving as the center of collective life. This building consists of a local laundry, technical room and a common room, the purpose of which is decided by the residents. The housing estates are built on undeveloped municipal lands made available temporarily for this purpose by the local government. The estates remain on a given plot until it is developed for targeted municipal investments. After the set time has elapsed, the estate is moved to a new location. The houses are made of prefabricated elements in the frame construction technology while thermal insulation is made of recycled cellulose and plant based materials. The buildings have been designed in such a way that they can be built quickly and easily taken to pieces when the time comes to move the estate to a new location. The entire estate has been designed with equal access for everyone, both in terms of finance and infrastructure. The project put great emphasis on building the local community and limiting the negative impact of housing on the natural environment.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of sustainability and how these would be met
One of the basic ideas of the project is to minimize the negative impact of the estate on the environment. It concerns both the construction of the buildings themselves, as well as their later operation. Therefore, I decided to choose a frame construction technology based on wood and plant-based materials. The spaces in the skeleton walls are filled with loose cellulose, while an additional thermal insulation layer is made of plant fiber boards. The façade of the building is made of planks and plywood, adequately protected against weather conditions. The interior of the building is finished with plywood boards (formaldehyde-free), mounted on a wooden scaffolding. This allows for quick interior finishing. To reduce energy consumption for heating buildings and domestic water, the estate uses a common air source heat pump. Additionally, photovoltaic panels that generate energy for the estate are installed on the roofs of the buildings. For this purpose, one of the roof slopes is inclined at an angle of 40 degrees so as to provide the panels with optimal positioning in relation to the sun and average latitude corresponding to Poland’s location.
Building a community is a very important element of human life, often neglected, especially in urban centers.Therefore the concept of the estate is created in such a way to give the opportunity for the local community to be established. Residents use common spaces, shared laundry facilities and other elements of technical infrastructure. The community decides on the arrangement of gardens and the appearance of buildings - parts of the facade made of plywood can be painted in any way to fit the estate into a local context or to give it a unique character. The use of undeveloped urban areas is a way to create cheap apartments in attractive locations in cities. In this way, not only socially needed housing is created but also the harmful process of suburbanization might be slowed down.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met
All buildings are constructed using natural materials, which gives the estate a unique character. On the one hand, wooden finishes contrast with the urban fabric, and on the other hand, they correspond with the surrounding greenery. Parts of the facades of buildings made of plywood, which residents can paint in any way, allows the estate to fit into the existing context of the surroundings or, on the contrary, give it a distinctive look. The use of natural materials makes the interior of buildings and their surroundings cozy and warm. In addition, it allows for the creation of healthy living conditions, which contributes to the improvement of the well-being of the inhabitants. One-storey buildings are arranged in a small group. Such a setup, due to its intimate character, encourages long-term, strong neighbourly relations and prevents the big-city anonymity problem.
At the same time, the use of separate single-family buildings allows for the independence of individual households, thanks to which a healthy balance between private and collective life is maintained. Surrounding the buildings with terraces, which, over time, will be partially replaced with additional rooms, is intended to integrate the estate into one closed structure. Thanks to this, from the very beginning, the estate refers to one of the key values of the project, i.e. building relationships and community. Common terraces connecting individual buildings with each other create a semi-private space conducive to meetings between inhabitants. The plywood surfaces, which are part of the façade of the buildings, are to provide a space for the creative expression of the residents of the estate, as well as enable it to be included in the local aesthetic context. The shape of the housing estate created in a new location is each time adjusted to the existing greenery and the surrounding infrastructure, so as to create optimal conditions for living and building a community.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion and how these would be been met
The estate is designed in such a way that everyone can find a place for themselves there. All spaces are easily accessible for persons with movement disabilities as well as for people who use a wheelchair. The buildings are connected by a series of terraces located 50 cm above the ground level. They can be accessed through shared entrances equipped with both stairs and wheelchair ramps. In addition, an individual ramp can be installed in front of and behind each building, allowing easy access for people who use a wheelchair.
All spaces include maneuvering areas for wheelchairs - both on the terraces and in the passageway, as well as inside the buildings. Bathrooms in all buildings have been designed in such a way that they can be easily adapted for people who use a wheelchair – the space adjustment consists in installing the appropriate handrails and a shower seat.
Inclusion of the “no fences” concept might be also understood in terms of finances and the widely recognized problem of housing accessibility. The estates would be built by non-profit entities. As a result, together with municipal land that would be obtained from the local governments, it is possible to significantly reduce costs of such an investment while maintaining its high standard.
The “no fences” estate would be a perfect place to promote the attitude of openness, tolerance and a sense of co-responsibility for the surroundings. In such conditions no one should feel omitted or inferior.
Please explain the innovative character of your concept/ idea
One of the main innovations of the project is the possibility of gradual expansion of residential buildings. By adding next segments to the basic body of the building, it is possible to more than double its usable area. Therefore the building can be quite easily adapted to the changing spatial needs of its inhabitants. Additional rooms may be used as a child’s bedroom, office or studio, depending on the needs of the tenants.
Another innovation is the temporary management of unused urban land. These may be areas where the local government is planning some permanent investment in the future, or simply undeveloped areas. The estate is being built temporarily (for a period of 10-15 years, so that the investment in the infrastructure works for land parcel with the media will pay off). This approach of urban land usage does not permanently block its potential, so likely more such locations could be made available by local authorities.
In order for the concept of a temporary housing estate to be rational, the buildings have been designed in such a way that their relocation is not a big problem. The structure of buildings consists of separate elements (individual walls, load-bearing floors, roof segments, footings), which can be easily assembled at the building site, and then dismantled again at the right moment and moved to a new location. Thanks to this solution, the buildings do not differ in standard from those built in a conventional manner, but they can be dismantled and transported again, which is it’s great advantage.
Another feature that distinguishes the "no fences" estate from conventional approaches is the focus on building the local community and ecological awareness among residents. These aspects are very important for the well-being of citizens and building a more sustainable future.
Please detail the plans you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea, with a particular attention to the initiatives to be taken before May 2022
The project “no fences” is based on cooperation with local governments and non-profit housing organizations. To enable its implementation, it will be necessary to interest such entities in its idea. For this purpose, I plan to contact local governments of large Polish cities in order to present my project. In addition, I plan to present the project to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Poland and Social Housing Societies operating in Poland.
III. UPLOAD PICTURES
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Rising Stars Awards more than once in the same category.
In order to submit your project, please make sure you have filled in all the mandatory fields marked with *, in both the “Basic information” and “Description of the project” tabs.
The country you have selected is not a Member State of the EU.
Please select the country your project was either implemented in the EU for Strand A in or is being developed or intended to be implemented in the EU for Strand B.