Competition for the development of the area of the outer bailey in Lublin

Award: Honorable mention

When preparing a study of such importance as the plan for the development of Podzamcze in Lublin, it must be admitted that, in addition to using the materials provided by the Competition Organizers, it was necessary to deepen the knowledge of the subject by getting to know other documents and works. Only in this way can you establish a better understanding of the city you work for. It remains to be hoped that this knowledge is visible in the project.


In today’s city, due to the deepening democratization of life, the freedom of circulation between all parts of the city should be facilitated more than ever.
For today’s city, declaring commitment to ecology, it should not be enough that it is a city in the landscape – the city should be a city-landscape. Urban, urban landscapes should draw on the patterns of the natural environment that are closest to them, even if they are imperfect or processed by humans.
Following this path, it must be stated that today’s (tomorrow’s) architecture should follow the convention of linking the object with the environment. We should create it in the form of a sequence of actions and narratives, sometimes familiar to the user and sometimes surprising. Therefore, we should create it not in the form of isolated buildings, but as continuous structures for which we look for guiding lines or main compositional axes outside the plot on which we implement the object, which then pass through the plot and the object, and then become the beginning of thoughts about a new object next door. Movement and connection – this is the starting point for thinking about the architecture of tomorrow. And if so, covers are becoming more important than walls that can block movement, and if so, we must move towards the dematerialization of architecture.
Finally, since also functional programs are a generator of traffic to and through buildings, building programs should also be a dynamic category and undergo changes, for which their form should be prepared.


The above-mentioned thoughts about the city and architecture have been compiled into a specific doctrine, without which it is impossible to consistently carry out the project of Podzamcze. Here it is: Actions bringing about changes in the city space cannot, with their intensity, go beyond the level adopted for it, established (in the process of continuous planning and urban design) as a harmonious relationship between the built and natural environment, and between both and the economic and social needs of its inhabitants.
This means, for example, that the amount of built-up area should be limited when it may be detrimental to the creation of the city’s image, i.e. that quantitative indicators cannot dominate the quality of spatial development, which is a unit good and once destroyed, it will not return to its previous state. It is necessary to refer to the indications of the economics of amenity, the economics of beautiful things, which say that a space of beauty has a measurable economic value and that it is easier to use a beautiful space than one destroyed by an excess of objects, the number of which sometimes results from a short-sighted desire for profit. Only then will the area of ​​Podzamcze bring benefits to the city, although today it is devoid of aesthetic values ​​and has a negative impact on the adjacent historical buildings.


First goal: Integration of urban space and unity of difference while maintaining the certificate of distinctiveness.
Second goal: Recomposition of degraded landscape areas.
Third goal: A place for a trace of the present day while keeping the testimony of the past.
Fourth goal: Maintaining the image of the city full of greenery.



Today, the competition area is clearly and excessively divided into four parts by communication routes with categories and classes not conducive to its perception as a whole. Heavy transit traffic on Aleja Tysiąclecia is particularly painful, and it itself is a burdensome barrier separating Podzamcze from the Old Town. This should not be the case in the new center of Lublin.
A circumstance conducive to the improvement is the construction of the city bypasses. Thanks to this, it will be possible and logical to rebuild routes resembling country roads into city streets and, most importantly, to create a coherent network of city streets as part of the project. This can be done by:
– reconstruction of junctions at the intersections of Al. Tysiąclecia and Unii Lubelskiej (Rondo Romana Dmowskiego) and ul. Lwowska and Ruska (Rondo Metropolity Piotra Mohyły) so as to limit the areas they occupy as much as possible and make their geometry similar to that of municipal nodes. Although the routes of Al. Tysiąclecia and Unii Lubelskiej, Podzamcza etc. streets (and their cross-sections and number of lanes) remain basically unchanged, the newly connected routes become closer to the concept of “city street”,
– creation of a new “downtown route”, connecting the fragments of the area covered by the competition separated today (see the communication diagram on the boards). The “downtown route” consists of: Ruska Street, restored to the historical trail of its course (with a fragment running from Kalinowszczyzna Street along the northern frontage of Singer Square over Lwowska Street and over Podzamcze Street), Nadstawna Street, Zamkowy Square, fragment of Podwale Street, reconstructed Krawiecka Street on the southern side of the Castle Hill, fragment of the planned street next to the allotment gardens (where a shopping complex is planned), a street designed in the area where today there is a petrol station, to be connected over Kalinowszczyzna Street with Ruska Street. There are minibuses on this route, stopping in a no-stop system,
– creating a network of local streets that is easy to understand for drivers and pedestrians based on the above-mentioned the route and streets existing today, with routes recorded in the history of the city and known to residents, as well as a network of street surface car parks along these streets,
– location of underground car parks with easily accessible entrances mainly from the “downtown route”, which simplifies the search for a parking space,
– designation of bicycle routes with a city-wide rank along the main streets (with possible underground passage under Unii Lubelskiej street along the route along Al. Tysiąclecia). On the roadways of local streets and sidewalks, bicycle traffic is allowed in accordance with applicable regulations,
– creating the main pedestrian routes along the “downtown route” and as the shortest pedestrian connections inside the area, including along the axis of the Czachówka River hidden underground, the latter being the compositional axis of the urban layout in Podzamcze. An important role of the functional and compositional link of the Podzamcze complex with the Old Town is played by the pedestrian footbridge, leading from Grodzka Street, passing under the Castle and ending with a ramp in the heart of Podzamcze, near the square with the historic street Spa, which is a place of traditional meetings,
– creating a walking path of panoramas and views, running around the hills and urban interiors,
– locating public transport stops in accordance with the layout of pedestrian routes, including out-of-town bus stops on the section between Dmowskiego and Mohyły roundabouts, from where the so-called On the Green Route, they have a simple connection with integrated railway and bus stations,
– locating TAXI stops at some street parking lots, in line with the building entrances and main pedestrian crossings.
The integration of urban space also means an even and logical distribution of center-forming functions throughout the area, based on the complementarity of functions.
The areas are integrated through publicly accessible, sometimes roofed spaces. The most important of them is the strip of land located on the “underground” Czachówka river. The analysis of the problem of whether to leave the Czachówka underground or bring it to the surface rather indicates the first solution: profits do not compensate for troubles. However, one should not forget about Czachówka, which is why not only its axis is adopted as the compositional axis of the urban layout in Podzamcze, but also it symbolically presents itself in public spaces. The proposed form extends along the underground course of the river, changing its cross-section and level, changing colors in the cold range of water colors, sometimes carrying water and being a specific fountain enriched with colored light and sound, sometimes a place to sit or a long pot with planted reeds. The course of this form is shown on the boards.
Public spaces in Podzamcze are a sequence of squares, partly of historical provenance, and streets of similar origin. In the project, Plac Zamkowy becomes a place of small, temporary street trade.



The analysis of the landscape of the area covered by the competition shows that it is necessary to emphasize the main features that build the spatial identity of Podzamcze. These features are the dominance of the hills on which the Castle and the Church of St. Mikołaja, and the vast area of ​​the Royal Pond, a fragment of the main green belt in the Bystrzyca valley. The hills are linked by views that are of value unheard of in other cities.
In order to maintain the aforementioned values, the architectural complex of Podzamcze is built in the form of buildings covered with green roofs, sloping towards the Czwartek hill, so that from the vantage points located on it and in the entire northern range of the area, they are viewed as a kind of extension of the slope of the Castle Hill. Moreover, by covering the Tysiąclecia Avenue, they optically eliminate it as a barrier between Podzamcze and the Old Town. The effect of bringing both parts of the city closer is obtained. Horizontal “cracks” between the roof panels, the perception of which changes with the movement along the route of panoramas and views, give the roof system a dynamic effect, the impression of moving panels, which is intensified when light appears in the “cracks” in the evening.
The roof panels almost reach the foot of the Czwartek hill, where it is built on the basis of low-rise buildings that they cover, and the hill slope, an intimate urban interior with a square around the street Zdrój, with the dominant of the church and the preserved exposition of the church of St. Nicholas, perhaps the best presented from this place.
In the views from the Castle Hill, the roof panels are almost invisible, but the wall of buildings along Al. Tysiąclecia is exposed, but its vertical shape (glass breakage at the ceiling height [at the first floor) means that in the upper part of the glass you can see the reflection of the green slope of the Hill and in the lower strip a reflection of the Castle and the sky above the Castle. This effect is easy to obtain, also thanks to the properties given to the panes during their production. If we add to this further wall deformations obtained, for example, thanks to parametric design, thanks to the use of a multi-layer facade, and dozens of other possibilities of designing the “skin” of the building, we will obtain the effect of dematerialization of the wall, which is an affirmation not only of the lightness of the designed building, but also the contemporary sense of freedom.
The above-described façade of buildings along Al. Tysiąclecia is the northern frontage of the urban interior, the southern frontage of which is the slope of the Castle Hill and the Old Town. The above-mentioned technical measures, reducing the traffic nuisance of Aleja Tysiąclecia and the division of space by the footbridge over Aleja Aleja and roof overhangs (see drawings on the boards), make the urban interior of Al. Tysiąclecia human scale and become an interesting and representative city promenade.
Singer’s Square is an important place in the composition of the entire ensemble. Surrounded from the north by buildings 20 m high, slightly raised in relation to the Lwowska and Unii Lubelskiej streets facing them axially, it is a spatial dominant of this part of the area, well closing the study area from the north-east. The buildings (with heights admitted in the competition terms) designed south of the Square, on both sides of Litewska Street, form the necessary walls of this green interior.
A different approach was used in the case of the south-eastern quarter of the planned area. On the one hand, one must be aware of the investment pressure related to the intention to build a large-scale commercial facility there, on the other hand, one should remember about the ecological values ​​of the area and the rural origin of the buildings, which is still visible there. The project attempts to reconcile both attitudes. It is an area easily accessible by communication, located on the edge of the city center, but well connected with Podzamcze, where it is a waste of space for such a large facility (area and intensity of use). It was decided to design an object with a fragmented roof (the highest point does not exceed the permissible height), parts of which are covered with greenery. Together with the trees growing on the plot, it will remind you of the classical principle, according to which exemplary modern cities and their immediate surroundings were built: urbanize the village, pipe the city.
Speaking of the urban landscape of Podzamcze, it is necessary to mention the principles of placing advertisements. They cannot in any way compete with the historical elements of the site. Aggressive light advertisements and large-format advertisements may not be located east of the footbridge over Al. Tysiąclecia, or on the roofs of buildings to the west of it, in the urban interior at the foot of the Czwartek hill, on the tops of houses at Singer Square, on the roof of the supermarket opposite The castle behind Unii Lubelskiej street or on other roofs. For advertisements, stripes should be designated on the façade at the level of the ceiling above the ground floor, the use of independently standing advertisements, including in the strips delimiting streets, forbidding the use of advertising banners, forbidding the use of special illumination of boards and signs, etc.


Myślenie o zieleni w miejscu tak szczególnym jak Podzamcze w Lublinie nie powinno ograniczać się do zaprojektowania pospolitych trawników. Jak wszystko w tym miejscu tak i the greenery should refer to the features of the local identity.
As mentioned above, one of the design intentions is to cover the new facilities with green roofs, in reference to the green slopes of the hills, which in itself supports the image of Lublin as a green city. On the roofs there should be species that do not lose their appearance also in winter. All trees suitable for this are preserved (as shown in the pictures), supplemented with noble varieties that are resistant to low temperatures, do not exceed 12 – 15 m in height and are clearly decorative.
In park spaces (eg along Lwowska Street) lawns are designed in the form of low earth heaps with high greenery in an “urbanized” shape. Park devices prepared for intensive use should also appear here, e.g. a skate park, a separate Jordan garden, perhaps an attractive water mirror, i.e. a stone square with water and steam fountains, between which you can walk. Each of these devices should have specially designed places for sitting, lighting, protection, and toilet.
The area to the south and east of the Castle should look different: it is rather the exhibition area of ​​the Castle Hill, so there are no common recreational facilities. They are rather walking spaces, conducive to contemplation and reflection on Lublin’s past and the joy of the anticipated better and better future. Contemplation may be helped by the traces of the contours of buildings that once existed here, recalled from the past, filled with multicolored grasses and dense groups of low-cut shrubs, with complementary accents of such trees, which usually symbolize hopes for a better future. Pedestrian crossings in this area are marked on the drawings.
A large-scale commercial facility is located in the south-eastern quarter of the planned area. It has green (though partially glazed) roofs and small recreational areas with trees. Passages to allotment gardens lead through this area, which should be intact, however, it is worth trying, as provided in the project, to open pedestrian roads and paths between the plots or their groups for the public. In this way, known in many cities around the world, in an almost non-investment and cost-free manner, Lublin can obtain a large, beautifully arranged park, which is provided for in the project. Of course, you have to remember about places to sit, lighting, security, toilet, which will also benefit gardeners.


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