Marta Schmidt, Zsófia Berczi, Paulina Cziba, Jakub Brahmi, Marek Vilášek, Igor Jansen, Gabriela Zofia Szalanska, Łukasz Misztal, Martina Turanovicova.
Porta Posnania, the heritage interpretation center of the Cathedral Island, is an institution which, by referring to over a thousand-year-old history of Poznań’s Cathedral Island, unveils the cradle of the Polish state and constitutes a significant place on the map of Poland in terms of its historical value. It constitutes an example of an innovative take on museums, architecture, public spaces and the life of a community. Its approach is unprecedented not only in the city but also across the whole country.
Porta Posnania along with the Royal-Imperial Route – the city tourist trail, constitutes the TRAKT Centre for Cultural Tourism – the municipal cultural institution which in its operations combines tourism, history, education and social animation.
From May to September, part of the activities take place in the open air space of an amphitheatre located next to the building, near the river. On one hand, this place constitutes a relaxation space, which due to its simple form can be subjected to multiple transformations and be shaped in any way its users see fit – perfectly embodying the objectives of the „third place” idea. It also constitutes a space where workshops and activities take place, mainly for children and their parents, as well as summer day-camps. Many concerts, theatre events and various meeting are held here. One summer, the place even held a kayak cinema! The events take place in the spirit of ecology, they address the subjects related to the river, plants and the natural environment.
The amphitheatre is an open space, it can be accessed through outside entrances, there is no need to enter through the building of the institution, although looking at the architecture itself – it is worth it! This area is aimed at individual users. It is used by neighbours, residents of Poznań and tourists. During organised events, the space of the amphitheatre is subjected to modifications.
The square lacks resting furniture and portable sitting places, the spots where one can enjoy a moment’s rest. There is a need for new, multi-purpose and portable construction which would serve as a table, as well as seats, stage and the curtain, and would be easily adaptable. The main requirement is the portability and the compact character of the designed furniture. All elements are stored overnight and taken out for the day by the employers. The amphitheatre is very close to the river, on a floodplain. In the spring and autumn, water washes over the concrete floor.
The workshops’ participants, with the help of the tutor Mikołaj Smoleński, decided that what this location needs most are large, characteristic elements serving the purpose of recreation, which would be visible from the nearby Jordan Bridge in order to attract new users.
The design comprises of three few-person rocking seats in the size of a small bed. The simple exterior form is to fit in with the modern form of the building.
Each model is different, they are distinguished by different surface finish types of the seat: a uniform plywood board finish, a finish composed of plywood cut into narrow planks, or a back rest created as a result of binding seventy broom sticks with safety tape
Architect from Poland
Mikołaj Smoleński studied in the Architecture Department of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, and on the Oulu University in Finland under the Modern Nordic Architecture program. He also holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He co-created the CH+architects team and manages the SOFFT platform which is concerned with issues related to design aimed at local communities and dedicated to public spaces. The author and co-author of around twenty awarded and distinguished competition projects.