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FOLK concept

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Regaining a sense of belonging
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS: concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
FOLK concept
Full concept/idea title
FOLK concept — granary adaptation project

FOLK concept is the result of several years’ research about Polish rural architecture and particularly the characteristic decorated bricks, with relief embellishments, that can be found on certain buildings (barns, granaries…). The aim is to give these buildings a new life, through sustainable renovation that maintains their original form and details, while adapting them to a new use as public places, where local communities can come together and discover treasures of Polish cultural heritage.

What is the geographical scope of your concept/idea?
Does your concept/idea address mainly urban or rural issues?
Mainly rural
Does your concept/idea refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to other types of transformations ('soft investment')
Has your concept/idea benefited from EU programmes and/or funds?
Has your concept/idea won an EU prize?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As an individual
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea

The design assumption is the adaptation and extension of the old granary building into a public place - FOLK concept (space for a ceramics workshop) with the intention of maintaining the original form and details of the building. The concept provides for the creation of an integration and educational space that will allow recipients direct contact with craft and creative activities in the form of ceramic workshops. In recent times, the subject of villages has gone beyond the existing framework and becomes an even more important element influencing identity and origins. My project is people belonging to a place, people to architecture, people to nature and people to people. It combines a symbiosis of place, time, community and nature, which complement and interact. The project is an inspiring use of such buildings that are located all over Poland, and will protect against oblivion and promote local aesthetics throughout the country. The project uses the proposal to adapt the granary building, built of relief concrete blocks (a popular architectural phenomenon in Poland, but unexplored).

I would like to present to you the film / animation I have created, which will allow you to feel at least a little about the subject that I have touched upon and maybe will allow you to see how great you can design today, but with great respect for the history, tradition and culture of Polish folk. The music for the film uses an original Podlasie song, which I have given a modern twist.

Video for the project: 

Please indicate the main themes of your concept/idea with 5 key words
Promoting cultural heritage
Pro ecological design
Integration of rural community
Respect for local craftsmanship
Emphasizing local aesthetics
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of environmental sustainability (including circularity) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

The idea of the project assumes a pro-ecological approach to environmental protection through the use of modern solutions which are in line with the assumptions of sustainable and circular design. It aims to reduce the need for space, use renewable energy, use ecological or recycled products that can be reused in the future and have a small or zero carbon footprint. The structure of external walls consists of reinforced concrete columns, filled with eco blocks made of bio-ash (give a noticeable reduction in heat loss, which is important in low-energy construction) and thermo-copies (allow for savings in energy consumption, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere), the top layer consists of numbered blocks from the demolition of the old building, which will act as a unique historical material and highlight the idea of the project. The entire roof and part of the facade of building II will be covered with a system of aesthetic photovoltaic panels, while the remaining walls will be covered with recycled wooden facade boards: spruce and larch, which are the most resistant to weather conditions. They will be tanned using a traditional Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban to achieve the desired color. The technique allows to increase durability and protection against fungi and pests for at least 50-60 years. The technique used does not block the exchange of gas, so that the rooms have a favorable microclimate. Burnt wood is also an excellent heat insulator, and in addition resists the effects of harmful UV rays and moisture. Part of the rooms will be painted with clay paints, which are sustainable products used in ecological construction - they eliminate the impact of "electric smog" or absorb cigarette smoke, but also have the ability to self-regulate humidity and temperature in the rooms. Additionally, a rainwater tank has been designed to utilize rainwater and a floor to facilitate micro water retention. 

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.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

The aesthetics of the project is closely related to places and regions in Poland and is closely related to the local materials on which I have been researching in recent years. The block, which was the subject of research, has become the main element influencing the aesthetics both in architecture, but also in interiors and landscape architecture. It is these buildings that create the current character and view of the Polish countryside. Unfortunately, through time, puddings are destroyed and deteriorated both in the facade and the construction layer. My project is a perfect example of how to use such buildings and give them a second life - modern, ecological, with social value. The visual aesthetics of the building creates a complete whole with the surrounding nature and landscape, creating a new, contemporary character of the place. The brick is perceived as a raw material, and the relief pattern that rural people in Poland added on hand-made blocks adds a folk, pleasant and warm character to the reception.

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

Apart from promoting unique architectural details in Polish villages, the project aims to adapt the facilities for the purposes of bringing together local communities. They form the heart of every smaller town and give character to a given area. My project aims to create a place for the integration of such a community in order to clarify relations, exchange customs and cultivate local traditions, customs, language and handicrafts in the age of the 21st century. Such a place with an exemplary scenario provided would provide a place to engage the local community and to cultivate traditions and disseminate them also for people from the city. Such collections are very much needed nowadays. Tradition and respect for handicrafts are relegated to the background. By organizing places where tradition is cultivated, we build a new history, a new contemporary overtone, both in the social and cultural structure. Respect for the place, people and people.

Please explain how these three dimensions would be combined in your concept/idea.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

The adaptation of the storage object and its complex processing allowed me to create a project that not only has aesthetic value, but also promotes unique works of folk art, treasures of the cultural heritage of Podlachia and Masovia. My project is a comprehensive report and an example of the use of such objects, many of which exist in Poland, but also in Europe. From the outset, the concept aims at the conscious selection of the components of the project, from the materials of the building structure to the interior fittings. It involves an environmentally friendly approach to protecting the environment, emphasising the local aesthetics and adapting them to the present day, social integration – the feeling of belonging to a local area – the feeling of pride in the region, tradition, culture, customs, architecture or language, being unique. After analysing the cultural and natural/landscape value, the idea of the project was to create architecture, interior design and green spaces that support the main functions of the FOLK concept ceramic workshop building. All materials used are a conscious decision without affecting the environment. Most of them use the idea of upcycling and come from recycling. The landscape architecture project completes the whole approach to thinking about space both in the cultural class and in nature. My project is a perfect example of how to use dying architecture for public purposes. Such places could integrate local communities of all ages (from children to the elderly), provide a sense of unity and “togetherness”, and serve as a pretext for maintaining personal contacts in the countryside in the age of telephone and electronic communication.

Please highlight the innovative character of the concept/idea as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the concept/idea.

Due to my roots in Podlachia, I have always been interested in local craftsmanship, products and architecture. As a detail-sensitive artist, I noticed an inconspicuous thing – relief embellishments on concrete, seemingly inconspicuous in the reception of barns. I searched for information, books, publications – there was nothing. I thought something like this had to be done. In my first year of studies, I wrote my first scholarly article for a national architecture magazine. In the following years I collected photographic documentation of the hollow stones from the vicinity of Masovia and Podlachia. I summed up my achievements two years ago with an exhibition at the Podlaski Museum of Folk Art. The exhibition was a great opportunity to talk to people about rural architecture and all the social phenomena of local craftsmanship. The theme has proved to be unique and represents a rare subject in the literature of the subject and hardly present in the scientific discourse of the ornamental art of masonry buildings in the field of concrete stone ornamentation. All that I have done in this field has allowed me to receive many scholarships and awards for my scientific discoveries. Buildings will be 100 years old in a few years. Technological progress cannot be traced back, and buildings built from relief stones are getting older and older. They are of no value to the average, unconscious person, but my research shows that it is unique at the national level, perhaps also at the European level. Emptiness in colloquial language can be understood in two ways, but in my project work it was given a different, ennobling definition. It is a time sign that describes the history and culture of a place, in this case my home country, Poland.

Please detail the general plans that you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea.

My author’s studies focused on an area in Poland (scientific article for a national architectural magazine, exhibition at the Podlaski Museum of Folk Art, numerous prizes for innovative research on rural architecture). In the future, I want to shift research to the whole country and promote the adaptation of buildings built from relief concrete. These measures would make it possible to involve rural authorities in the public use of these facilities and to preserve unique rural buildings from oblivion. Since the buildings are less than 100 years old and I am dealing with this phenomenon myself, many people from all over Poland contact me to preserve or demolish such buildings (is it worth preserving – do they have any value?), and I want to draw the public’s attention to these buildings and encourage them to use them for integrating the local community for various purposes (in my project to educate young people). and adults to contact directly). Craftsmanship-creative activities in the form of ceramics workshops – to transfer the idea of producing hollow stones with patterns in the villages on a macro scale to the present day by means of ceramics. In the last decade of the 21st century, we are witnessing a decline in tradition and craftsmanship in favour of technological solutions and mass production. Such use of the square would perhaps inspire the community to re-create quality artisanal products that have added value beyond aesthetics – the work of human hands, which refers to the handmade hollow stones.

Imagine that your idea/concept is awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022. What kind of initiatives would you take throughout the following year (June 2022- June 2023)

Receiving the New European Bauhaus award would allow me to develop my several-year-long scientific research project throughout the country. Such research requires a lot of travel all over the country, conversations with people or documentation. The topic that is subject to the study is a niche and practically does not appear in the scientific discourse, so all the substantive material is created by me to promote this unique phenomenon both for people in Poland and throughout Europe. The award would certainly cover the costs of documenting the original research and bringing it to implementation throughout the country (because there are plenty of such facilities in Poland). I dream that my project proposal will be implemented - the project is comprehensively developed - for you I only show the tip of the iceberg that I have developed and designed. Unfortunately, I am limited by the regulations and the number of attachments to show the entire mental assumption. In addition, I would like to disseminate both the project and everything that I have developed so far in magazines, media, lectures, conferences so that people can be inspired by my project and use their facilities for the given purposes, and at the same time promote Polish folk and the aesthetics of Polish villages from the 20th century.

By ticking this box, you declare that you are not in in one or more of the exclusion situations foreseen under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
By submitting your application, you guarantee that you are the author or have the rights to proceed with the application and to authorise the use of the project, concept, idea, and that you have obtained any necessary consents, licenses or assignments from third parties and included copyright notices when necessary.
By submitting your application, you understand that all the applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be shared for the purposes of the selection processes, and notably published on the secured platform and for the purposes of the promotion of these on the New European Bauhaus website and/or other European Commission communication channels. In this sense, the applications would be widely available. Applicants should ensure that they present their ideas, concepts, projects, in such a way that they could be shared without giving rise to intellectual property related concerns. If your submission is selected as one of the finalists, it will additionally be shared for the purpose of the public vote that will take place. The European Union is granted a licence to use and share your application with the general public and the official external experts for the purposes of the selection process, including the voting. The European Union has the right to use the images and visual materials and the description provided in the application for communication purposes related to the contest and beyond. Rights granted comprise the right to store, reproduce, display, publish and communicate or distribute copies in electronic or digital format, including, but not only, through the internet. Unless you have disclosed your name, the European Commission has no obligation to share your name when using or disseminating your contribution to the public. The European Union cannot be held responsible in case any submitted idea, project, concept is found to infringe third parties rights. The European Union shall be neither responsible for the use that third parties may do of the applications or related content.


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