Allow us to introduce a thermomodernisation project of three buildings located on Boleslaw Chrobry’s housing estate in Poznan. These 16 storeys high blocks of flats were designed in the middle 70s by a team of architects led by Prof. Jerzy Buszkiewicz. The cuboids marked by outstanding proportions differ between themselves only in terms of their balcony linings’ colours.
In our newly-designed colour scheme, we relate to the original colourings of these objects. The front and back elevations will be light, in cotrast to the darker uppermost walls. As a result, even during cloudy days, so common in our climate, the blocks will appear much more spacious. We only apply colours to the new balcony casings and in accordance with the current colourings. Block no. 25 will be equipped with blue balconies, no. 26 with green ones, and no. 27 with red ones.
These blocks of flats are characterised by one distinctive feature. The prefabricated elements which the blocks are made of are covered by small tiles. Unfortunately, saving the mosaic would be too expensive to consider, although we have been inspired by the pattern and decided to include our impression of it in the new project.
The first element that incorporates the aforementioned feature is a font specially designed for these buildings. It has come into being thanks to the collaboration with the “Zupagrafika” studio, ran by David Navarro – a Spaniard working and living in Poznan. We have been aware for a long time now that David, just like us, holds the Polish post-war modernism in high regard and we had had a feeling that the outcome of this joint venture could be interesting.
The mosaic motif has also been used in the new balcony balustrades design. The old balustrades are in such a bad technical condition that they need to be replaced altogether. The project is based on the original structure, the difference lying in the fact that we build around the balconies both from the front, as well as the sides. This solution aims to eliminate the chaos that naturally occurs in the case of balconies. Flower pots of different colours, used by the residents, will get covered and only the plants growing within them will be visible from outside.
Due to costs, the balcony casings will be made from minerit panels. These panels, however, slightly exceed the size of the already existing balconies, which naturally leads to the generation of certain amounts of waste. Instead of throwing it out, we have decided to utilise the waste by attatching it to the balconies. As a result, the fronts of the balconies, combined with the new font, will bring out the memories about the distinctive details of the old elevation.
We also plan to encourage those who live in the three buildings to take part in designing the mosaic graphic layout of the balcony fronts.
At this time, we were inspired by one of the most interesting Polish painters of the late 20th century – Ryszard Winiarski. The paintings he created in the 70s are illusively similar to our balcony mosaic. We were not only inspired by the works themselves, but also by the way they came into being. Winiarski used to connect the worlds of science and art together. He often reached for the coincidence theory, the game theory, as well as statistics when he was working on his paintings. For example: he is known for priming the canvas using white colour, dividing it into equal fields, then throwing a die and deciding whether to fill a given field in accordance with the number rolled – even numbers resulted in a coloured field , while odd ones meant leaving it empty. This very method is the one we want to employ when cooperating with the residents! We would like to meet with them a few months before the renovation begins and suggest that they throw dice and thus decide how the end result mosaic that will appear on their balconies will look like.
Foto. Fotoarchitektura Anna Gregorczyk