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Canoe Center Poland

The design of the green-roofed canoeing centre in Poland was inspired by the building’s function, explain the design team. Stu Robarts finds out more


PSBA Przemysław Sokołowski Biuro Architektoniczne and INOONI Jakub Zygmunt have completed a canoeing centre in Augustow, Poland, with a wooden angular form that is reminiscent of the canoes it houses.

The studios were awarded the project after winning a design competition in 2016 and were briefed to create the facility itself as well as neighbouring recreational areas including a multifunctional sports field, a bike track, a playground and public spaces.

Jakub Zygmunt explained: “The Canoeing Center was a competition task. First of all, we analysed the place and we had to know what the users would need to create the best space for them. We focused on designing a characteristic form connected with the building’s function, both inside and out.”

Located on the Netta River, the 770 sq m (8,300sq ft) canoeing centre comprises a hub building, which is set back slightly from the water’s edge, and a hangar for storing boats that straddles the river and the riverbank.

“We wanted to create a building that would enter into the surrounding landscape, but also one that would be characteristic of the location. The dynamic form of the centre is inspired by the spirit of sport and movement, and its wood elevation refers to the nature of that place by the river.”

The hub was designed as a base from which to run training, club meetings, competitions and events, with amenities including a training facility, changing rooms, a gym with views of the river, a club room and a canoe and equipment store.

The hub’s edges are folded down along two of its planes, creating covered canopies for its entrances and exits, as well as contributing to its eye-catching angular form.

A green, flat roof, meanwhile, slopes slightly downwards along the building’s length.

The hangar structure incorporates garage-like entrances from the river, storage space for motorboats, a jetty and a rooftop observation deck on which visitors can sit and watch activity on the water.

Both buildings are finished with Siberian larch, giving a natural aesthetic that fits with the surrounding landscape, while the interiors have been kept minimalistic and functional.

Jakub Zygmunt
"The centre’s dynamic form is inspired by the spirit of sport and movement" - Jakub Zygmunt
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