저자의 목적은, 상징적 구조를 만드는 것이 아니라 도시의 특정 부분을 보완하는 것이었다. 이미 존재하는 것을 분석하고 왜 그것이 특별했는지에 대해 이유를 발견하면서 독특한 분위기와 성격을 빌려야 했다. 그렇게 탄생한 이 건물은 세인트 폴 거리와 정면을 마주하며 주변의 연립주택과도 일맥 상통한다.
작은 오픈 워크의 세라믹 프로파일로 구성된 외관은 디자인 아이디어의 주요 본질, 다시 말해 전통적인 주택의 현대 유럽의 해석을 구성한다. 벽돌이 빈 공간과 번갈아 나타나고, 햇빛을 더 많이 통과시키는 세라믹 블록으로 구성하였다.
The Authors’ aim was not to create an iconic structure, but to complement a particular fragment of the city. They needed to analyse what already existed, discover why it was so special and then lend it a unique atmosphere and personality. In this case new architecture was supposed to become a background that would naturally add a finishing touch to the already existing urban space.
The building fills the block and the frontage of St. Paul’s Street in Katowice, matching the surrounding tenement houses in their bulk. Its trimmings and colour have been modelled on the example of humble Silesian multi-family coalminers housing located in the same plot, whose demolition had been suggested within the conditions of the architectural competition. Basic design assumption included the preservation and integration of the remaining building into a newly-designed edifice of the Faculty of Radio and Television in Katowice. Its new façade has been subtly embedded into the street’s frontage by reiterating the shape of the neighbouring garret and designed using similar ceramics to that in the older building, thus retaining the link with the ancient building materials.
The façades made up of hundreds of small openwork ceramic profiles constitute the very essence of the design’s main idea, namely a modern European interpretation of the unique character of traditional Silesian housing. External openwork serves as a kind of a “net curtain” – a screen that has been put onto the building. This is an offshoot of the Iberian approach to the façade design understood mainly as a veneer – a way of protecting buildings from the sun. Here, this idea has been translated into the poetics of local architecture, reality and ambience. As a result, details of the façade had been evolving throughout the designing process. Competition visualizations showed bricks laid alternately with empty spaces. At the designing stage a decision was made to use perforated profiles – ceramic blocks that would let through more sunlight.
Ceramics is consistently present in almost all parts of the building, not just in the façades, but mostly inside, constituting the basic stylistic connection. Bricks had been burned at different periods, in one of the last coal-fuelled kilns in Europe, nuanced with dark sintering and slightly diverse colouring. The ceramic texture penetrates deep into the university’s interior, creating a singular atmosphere and lighting. The openwork brick wall affords a uniquely abstract space. The light that illuminates all the structural perforations seeps through the TV-like ceramic blocks, creating different effects at different times of day, projecting square reflexes on the walls of neighbouring buildings. It floods the main courtyard, while providing almost meditative tranquillity in the rooms overlooking the street. A filmmaker or a photographer should experience strong vibrations of light-generated emotions there that would subliminally help educate students, inspire them and develop their sensitivity.