The Opacka Estate, designed by Roark Studio, is located on the banks of the Oliwski stream, on the site of former Cistercian sites and adjacent to the Oliwa Cathedral. Such a context obliges. The architects' goal was to create buildings that would complement the historic fabric, but not compete with it. The Roark Studio team did not copy historical solutions, but based on associations. The inspiration for the project, awarded this year's European Property Award, was to explore architecture and space. Invest Komfort, the investor, entrusted Roark Studio with the design of the Opacka estate and interdepartmental coordination of the design of the adjacent city park, the concept for which was created by Studio Krajobraz. The intimate establishment was designed on a plot located between Opacka, Spacerowa and Cystersów streets and consists of four buildings set on two garage halls. Within the adjacent park, two historic, post-Cistercian fish ponds have been restored: one for recreation, while the other as a so-called "rain pond", fulfilling a retention function.
The Roark Studio team faced the daunting challenge of designing in a historical context. On the one hand, there is the found fabric, which has its own definite character and, as in the case of Oliva, it is often a matter of ephemeral features that cause the feelings of the audience of the space. An informed designer notices these features and the unique character of the location in which he comes to design, but he cannot copy historical solutions, because this would create a "parody of architecture" effect. The language of forms belongs to a specific era and to the functions of the objects. However, these historical architectural forms carry an additional charge in the form of associations of the audience. A great sense of responsibility was also aroused in the designers by the vicinity of the Oliwa Cathedral, with which the new estate could not compete in form, materials or overall architectural expression. Still, the premise was to create something special and unique in this historic place. Gdañsk Oliwa is characterized by a small scale of buildings, a characteristic solution of roofs (those with a steeper slope are covered with red tiles, those with a smaller slope - with gray tar paper), a lot of greenery, pavements reminiscent of small streets (cobblestones, stone cubes, gravel paths). The masses of historic buildings are disjointed and rich in detail. Our role was to decipher this historical language and, so to speak, dissect it. How do these elements work on the viewer? How do they work on me? The disjointed masses make us discover more and more detail as we get closer to the object, that is, the closer we get the more there is to discover. And this discovery of architecture and space was our main design inspiration. We wanted to produce a space and architecture that is friendly from the point of view of a walking person. Which from each side and at each time of day tells a different story about itself. The building blocks of the Opacka Estate are visually disjointed to give the impression of a smaller scale. To the same end, the facades of the top floors "merge" in color with the roofs, thus "lowering" the development. A recreational area for residents is located in a basin sunk below the level of the surrounding land. The estate is open and stroller-friendly. A walking path has been located by the creek, and within the framework of the establishment, in addition to the city park, access to the Oliwa Cathedral is provided (the viewing axis to the cathedral passes through the park).