Close to the beach in the Jelitkowo district of Gdańsk, a unique housing estate "Botanica" is being constructed, the concept of which is the result of an investor competition. The idea of the competition design of the housing estate was an original development of Howard's concept of the "city-garden".
Architects wanted to harmonize architecture and landscape, where the surroundings of buildings, i.e. shaping the landscape, greenery, small forms of architecture, will be as important as the buildings themselves. The outdoor space is to provide comfort and good housing conditions, as well as the interiors of apartments, fitness or communication spaces. Architecture and landscape are to equally shape the aesthetic sensitivity of the inhabitants.
When planning the scheme of the housing estate, landscape axes were designed, shaped on the model of a broken line of a naturally meandering "river" – a water complex. The cubatures of some of the above-ground buildings were located in reference to the line of "river banks": gentle, green with a flat surface covered with grass and small shrubs, and steep, shaped by "green walls" trellises and hedges and "islands" of trees.
The landscape location of the buildings influenced m.in the solutions of plans and construction of garages, forcing the foundation of above-ground cubature parts on thick transfer plates. The slabs also play the role of loading the structure on the displacing groundwater. Unusual rooms have been designed in the garage, i.e. a fully equipped DIY workshop for residents or a kite dryer.
Cubature and landscape details were designed individually. An example is the design of chimney "walls" crowning gable roofs. The apartments were equipped with mechanical exhaust ventilation, which allowed free bending of all channels in the attic space above the highest residential floor and setting them linearly along the ridge. The channel launchers are enclosed with a continuous, openwork housing. This allowed to replace all chimneys and exhausts with one long chimney that organizes the body of the building.
The landscape architecture project, created together with Warsaw based “Studio Krajobraz”, includes many elements of small architecture, a good example of which are pergolas and trellises – "green walls", obscuring the gardens of apartments on the ground floor, at the same time leading to the compositional axes of the landscape.
At the same time, they are surrounded by soft forms of greenery of various coloration, texture, shape. Greenery occurs in the form of flat green roofs and grasses, dynamic forms of shrubs and trees, vertically growing creepers. The multitude of flowering plants also contributes to the creation of a space friendly to insects and birds.
It was important for the project to turn to nature, hence the buildings were finished with raw and natural materials: wood, elongated ceramic bricks, ceramic tiles, galvanized steel, raw concrete.
Water occurs primarily in the form of architecturally shaped blocks of water assumptions – reservoirs and canals, but also in the form of retention in green roofs and biologically active reservoirs with water greenery. Water is also present in the air surrounding the buildings, evaporating from the rich vegetation and shaping a friendly climate.
“Botanica” was awarded “Green Building Awards 2019” and “PZIiTB Bulding of a Year 2019”.