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Habitat Symbiosis

Julia Sielska

The work includes the design and description of a multi-family residential building
in a downtown area, the spatial and architectural solutions of which promote the formation
of an environment that positively affects the comfort and mental health of the residents.
A very important aspect of the premise is the introduction of nature into the zone of human life, and the imitation of its natural forms and processes. In this way, the designed habitat draws inspiration from the phenomenon of symbiosis - translated into the coexistence
of people among themselves, but also into the harmony of artificial (building) and natural (plants, animals) elements. The occurrence of healthy human interaction is fostered by the clear zoning of the space, which allows both the formation of bonds and the eventual control of social contacts. The building was designed to be constructed of wooden elements.
The exterior load-bearing walls were designed as a frame structure, while the interior walls and ceilings were designed using CLT technology. Balconies, whose supports are visually
and structurally inspired by the construction of mushrooms, are a characteristic element
of the building. Even though the building was designed as a mixed-use structure, fully focused on the material of wood. This is primarily due to ecological issues, but is also in line with
the main idea of the project, as natural materials and colors have a positive effect on users and their well-being.
The habitat proposes solutions to the problems of overstimulation, excess stress and mental illness in a strict urban environment. Because of this, it applies the principles
of neuroarchitecture, and focuses on the relationship of humans with other humans
and nature. An overarching issue in the process of supporting residents' mental health is biophilia. In the project it has been realized on many levels, including the presence of nature, organic shapes and the provision of irregular sensory stimuli. Biomimicry is also an important design consideration. It refers to a reinterpretation of the process that is symbiosis (especially occurring between fungi and tree - mycorrhiza). Mutual cooperation is supposed to be related to human relationships, but it also metaphorically refers to the relationship of artificial elements (building) and natural elements (plants, animals). Another one of the main ideas
of the project is to convey the character of a single-family home in a multi-family residential building. This is to improve the mental comfort of the residents, through the use of graded privacy zones, the presence of balconies and terraces, and the building's galleried typology.
The building has thirteen apartments spread over four floors. Access is provided through
a stairwell and a system of footbridges and galleries. The size of the residential units ranges from 42.2 sqm to 157.4 sqm, plus each apartment has a different layout. Among
the apartments, four ground-floor apartments, four adapted for people with special needs
and five two-story apartments have been designed. In addition, the first floor of the building
houses Oasis, a modern urban living room.

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