London-based AIM STUDIO’s entry for the Małopolska Science Center in Krakow, Poland, was recently awarded second place. Responding to the competition's call for an iconic design for the center, the team proposed a structure that creates a new landmark which blurs the boundaries between landscape and building, while also taking into consideration the important historical context of the site.
Read about more their proposal after the break.
Located on the site of the runway of the former Rakowice-Czyżyny airport, the building’s form is designed to reference the two-and one-wing airplanes which used to be located in the airfield.
The design of the building is seen as an extension of the existing landscape which “grows” from the ground plane up, further emphasized by a walkable green roof. The roof also allows for a panoramic view of the nearby runway, the city of Krakow, and the mountain ranges just beyond. AIM STUDIO’s interpretation of the site allows the surrounding area to become a place of recreation and rest for visitors.
One of the more striking features of the building is the perforated facade, which lends the building a glowing appearance at night. The pattern of the perforation can be read both as lines of binary code in reference to the Polish Mathematical Society, or a limestone cliff, referencing an iconic part of Małopolska geology.
The program of the building is divided into two zones connected by a glass lobby. The first area holds the workshops, and the second is designed to hold the conference room and office spaces. Each visitor passes through both parts of the building when viewing the exhibit, so that each person has the same experience when visiting the center.