Success of the Graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Gdansk University of Technology

The 9-th edition of the "The Best Architecture Diploma" (“Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”) competition, organized by the Architektura & Biznes magazine for the best student diplomas, has been resolved in December 2020.

The competition was held for Engineering and Master's theses defended in 2018-2020 and the best four Diplomas were selected from among the twelve nominated for the Finals.
The first prize was awarded to a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture of the Gdańsk University of Technology, Karolina Jankowska with a project titled “Bastion Miś as a place of pro-environmental activities. Project of the New School of Arts and Crafts based on the upcycling idea”.

The project of the New School of Arts and Crafts based on the idea of upcycling has been prepared by Karolina Jankowska, under the supervision of dr. Eng. arch. Agnieszka Błażko, associate professor at the GUT.



The work was appreciated, among others "[...] for raising difficult issues related to the climate crisis, for multi-faceted use of the idea of upcycling, both in the architecture itself, the author of which is trying to restore its former glory, and in the proposed function inspired by the Bauhaus school"
writes the secretary of the Architektura & Biznes editorial office.

You are welcome to read about the success of the graduate student and other awarded projects in the latest January issue of Architektura & Biznes (p. 44) and in the article on the winning projects on the magazine's website. Below are links to the electronic version of the magazine and the article.

E-edition of the January A&B issue
Article about the competition


The project presents the New School of Arts and Crafts based on the idea of upcycling.
According to the idea, students during school workshops, instead of using new raw materials, will use the used everyday objects supplied to them, giving them so called a second life. In order to refer to the idea of upcycling also in architecture, a decision was made to implement the developed functional model of the New School by adapting a complex of buildings in the Gdańsk’s Lower Town.

In addition to the pro-environmental dimension of the project, an attempt was made to draw attention to the problem of the low share of practical classes compared to theoretical classes during the artistic and architecture studies. For this purpose, in the adapted building, it was decided to combine the school function with the office function for creative industries. In this way, it was possible for students to cooperate and collaborate with people actively working in their profession.
When designing functional solutions in the building, the direct inspiration was the innovative assumptions and solutions of the Bauhaus School in Dessau, as an iconic school combining various fields of art and forms of education.


Five XIX-century's buildings located on the Miś Bastion in Gdańsk were adapted  to the new functions.
In the largest of them, the buidling of the old factory, the function of New Arts and Crafts school was combined with the co-working spaces for the artists from creative industry. The whole building, in accordance of the idea of functionalism, has been divided into four sections: office space and practical manual work space, for common spaces and for spaces for rent.

The other of the brick buildings located on the plot were adapted to gastronomic function, the exhibition hall where residents will be able to organize fairs, the function of “Po-dzielnia” - space for sorting  and exchanging of used materials and items, kindergarten function for employees’ children and additionally the function of a cafe with a bicycle service.

The main factory building was raised by one floor to align the height between the existing building wings. A courtyard was also build up, creating a two-story exhibition space and an auditorium.
In the school students can use the following workshop spaces: a carpentry workshop, metal workshop, a weaving workshop, a model workshop, a painting studio, a 3d printing studio and a photo-video studio. The build-up highest floor of the building comprises the library and design studios for students and their mentors. According to the Bauhaus ideas, the connection of the student’s and mentor’s workspace, aims to blur the currently existing barrier between them and creates space for their collective work and development. The ground floor of the existing building is devoted mainly for the public functions of a cafe and a public shop with student works for sale.


The extension of the building was proposed in a minimalist glass form in order to clearly distinguish the new structure from the old structure of the building and emphasize the old value.
The glass courtyard was designed in such a way as to maintain the existing condition of the Bastion's tree stand. The designed  courtyard delicately surround the existing greenery, creating a sort of glass cubes around the trees. In addition to it’s pro-ecological value, glazed cubes also bring a lot of daylight to the interior. Also, on the underground level, under the tree roots, there are rainwater retention tanks.

The main idea of the project is to propose a harmonious and delicate interference within the existing structure of the building and provide open, well-lit spaces connected with the green recreational areas of the Bastion. The structural system of the building has been preserved in the most fairly good and beneficial way. It was decided to demolish some of the floors locally and to change the structural system from load-bearing walls to a column system in order to create open and flexible spaces. The old northern wing with a hall construction offers a spacious, large space perfect for organizing events, i.e. concerts, conferences, design and fashion fairs. It is assumed that one of the main users of event spaces will be employees of the neighboring LPP campus at Łąkowa street. One of the main ideas of the project is to improve the functionality of this part of the degraded district of Gdańsk by referring to the slogan "revitalization by art" - carried out by the City of Gdańsk within the district since 2004. The variety of functions  designed in adapted buildings contributes to the creation of a lively public space in the Bastion, attractive to a wide range of users at different time of the day. Additionally, the part of the Bastion has been devoted to recreational functions for the district’s residents.

The work apart from the first prize in the described competition "The Best Architecture Diploma" (“Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”) was also awarded the third place in the National Competition "Dyplom z Archicadem", where it was selected from over 230 submitted works. More about the competition You can find HERE.



Karolina Jankowska

A graduate of the Faculty of Architecture of the Gdańsk University of Technology.
Her Diploma Thesis titled: “Bastion Miś as a place of pro-environmental activities. The project of the New School of Artistic Crafts based on the idea of upcycling." developed under the supervision of dr Eng. arch. Agnieszka Błażko, associate professor at GUT and defended february 2020.

The Diploma received the 1st prize in the "The Best Architecture Diploma" (“Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”) competition organized by the Architektura & Biznes magazine and the 3rd prize in the national competition "Diploma with Archicad" (“Dyplom z Archicadem”).

Also author of "Conference Center on Biskupia Górka in Gdańsk" student project awarded the 2nd prize in the competition organized by the President of the City of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz in 2018.

When selecting the subject of my diploma thesis, I was guided by the desire of creating architecture that would interfere with the existing urban space as little as possible, while significantly improving its functioning. It was important for me that my work was located in a space that I know well and in which I function every day - in my home city Gdańsk. My main idea when designing both this and my other projects is to create architecture that is in harmony with the surrounding landscape, that creates only its complement.

In architecture, I am fascinated by its multidimensionality and the way the spaces it creates affect human life. For this reason, I create each of my projects, imagining myself as its most demanding user.

Traveling is my next fascination. Getting to know the world, people and cultures is a constant source of inspiration and positive energy for me. Also during my studies, I had the opportunity to gain experience by studying for six months at the Politecnico di Milano and six months at the University of Porto. I live and work in Gdańsk on a daily basis. "

 ~ Karolina Jankowska

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