Centrum Sztuki i Nauki o Drewnie Xylopolis

Will be the pearl of Podlasie. Xylopolis Centre for the Arts and Science of Wood

The Xylopolis Centre for Wood Art and Science will be built in Wasilków near Białystok in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Its design was prepared by architects from Warsaw-based studio WXCA. The designers modelled it on another of their projects – the award-winning Polish Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai. The wooden body of Xylopolis is intended to be a kind of spatial exhibit that will make the region more attractive and become an impulse for development.

In designing the building, the architects wanted to refer to the relationship between man and nature. Each of us is part of this ecosystem and has an impact on it. In response to the ecological and social challenges of the future, the architects of WXCA create a perspective imbued with the belief in the wisdom of man and the possibility of rational, responsible management of natural resources. This is a direct reference to the tradition of Podlasie and the wooden architecture of the region.

The architectural concept for the Xylopolis headquarters was modelled on the Polish Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, designed by the WXCA studio. Like the project from Expo 2020, the Xylopolis Pavilion took the form of an upward-expanding, modular structure, for which the frame is a kinetic installation representing a flying flock of birds and serving as a metaphor for mobility – the dynamic changes taking place in the world, the global flow of information and knowledge.

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The main building material of Xylopolis will be wood. Cladding will be made of this material. The building will be complemented by moving façade fragments creating an interactive spatial installation powered by air movements.

The building design has been developed to minimise the carbon footprint. This will be supported by the use of wood as the main building material and elements made of low-carbon materials or the use of prefabricated elements. A spatial layout that optimises energy efficiency and renewable energy sources will also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.

The facility will be complemented by a garden of 4 hectares in size. The environment of Xylopolis will reflect the ideas behind the creation of the Centre for the Arts and Science of Wood. On the one hand, the design is based on making maximum use of the natural terrain and using solutions, including the selection of local plants – which are hardy and do not require high energy and water consumption and support natural retention. On the other hand, the site is equipped with energy-efficient retention systems, drainage, lighting and a range of engineering solutions to support efficient and sustainable resource management and to be resilient to current climate variability and future climate change, including in particular atmospheric hazards such as drought, gusty winds and precipitation, fires.

Xylopolis. Podlasie Cultural Centre

The heart of Xylopolis will be a four-storey pavilion. The ground floor is designed around a central, multi-storey hall, which will be surrounded by rooms for educational workshops and exhibitions. There will also be space for recreation, a café or a restaurant.

Xylopolis Wood Arts and Science Centre

The plan has been shaped to allow the interior and exterior to merge seamlessly, with a programme of indoor activities able to develop in the outdoor, garden areas. The upper floors of the building offer multifunctional spaces dedicated to different areas of culture: science, technology and art, including a room dedicated to a large-format painting by Leon Tarasewicz, a multifunctional room for performances, lectures and debates, spaces for intermedia installations of environmental education, popularisation of knowledge in the form of presentation of the latest achievements of science and technology,” describe the authors of the project.

An integral part of the building will be its surroundings. Zones dedicated to outdoor activities and recreation among greenery will be created. Examples include themed gardens, art parks, an amphitheatre, a brine graduation tower and a viewing tower. From the latter, it will be possible to admire traditional Podlasie wooden buildings. The Podlaskie Museum of Folk Culture is located right next door.

According to representatives of the local government, the creation of the Xylopolis seat in Wasilków near Białystok is a strategic project for the region, and its task will be both to create a cultural and educational centre integrating the local community and to promote the tradition, nature and brand of Podlasie externally. As a public facility, Xylopolis will be a place for the popularisation of art and science of wood, a space for exhibitions, conferences and workshops. The final completion is planned for the end of 2027.

WXCA team: Szczepan Wroński, Marta Sękulska-Wrońska, Michał Czerwiński, Anna Dobek-Lenczewska, Paulina Kucharska, Michał Kalinowski, Elżbieta Leoniewska, Jakub Matela, Jakub Kołomański, Maciej Sachse, Ewelina Szeląg, Paweł Wolanin, Klaudia Gołaszewska, Michał Sokołowski

design: WXCA

Read also: Wood | Curiosities | Places, Squares, Parks | WXCA | whiteMAD on Instagram

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