New research and teaching building of the University of Warsaw on Furmańska Street

University of Warsaw buildings occupy special locations on the map of the city – among greenery, close to parks, amid the Old Town, and along the Vistula Boulevards.

The latest university building at Furmańska Street serves as a link between the historic campus and the Warsaw Old Town. The location, near the Stanisław Jankowski “Agaton” Square and along the line of the proposed pedestrian-and-cycle bridge over the Vistula, will draw together students, academics, and other Warsaw residents.

The proposed facility opens up options for further development, and together with its adjacent building it will form a new quarter that fits in with the adjacent urban fabric.

The new university building is situated a unique and historic urban location, close to the Old Town and historic tenement houses with their distinctive reddish sloping roofs. Once densely built-up, the area has been more open since the reconstruction work done in the wake of the Second World War. Recalling the historic urbanist structure of the pre-war tenement houses with inner courtyards at the intersection of Karowa, Furmańska and Dobra Streets, the contemporary design of the new building is interwoven with new courtyards. The light structure of the crisscrossing passageways and open spaces under the compact substance of the building is suggestive of collaborative social systems and cooperative interpersonal relations.

The array of oblong slabs arranged orthogonally in two directions – north-south and east-south –is remains legible through the façades of the building. Their horizontal divisions recall the historic tenement houses of the Mariensztat district. Each corner is accentuated with large windows observing the surrounding space, just as students observe society. Smaller, rhythmic divisions of the façade accentuate the sides of the oblong, slabs coming together to form a contemporary colonnade. The green roof, visible from the Vistula Escarpment, forms an additional, “fifth façade.”

Furmańska Street, Warsaw
competition design
Authors' team:
Szymon Kalata , Eliza Kalata, Anna Jach
Design Team:
Maciej Wróbel, Zuzanna Pomaska, Adrianna Manista, Anna Stępień