Mill Island Design Wins Innovation Prize
The charming urban enclave in the centre of Bydgoszcz has received the The World Leisure International Innovation Prize 2012
The project entails the revitalization of one of the city's most historic post-industrial sites, originally the seat of the Royal Mint and an important economic base. After Soviet attacks in 1945, the 6.5-hectare site fell into disrepair, dwindling into a neglected area of the city. The revitalisation project plans for the revamping of the historical site, adding new functions to create a public leisure space for everyday recreation and special events, such as concerts, exhibitions and festivals.
Constructed in partnership with the city of Bydgoszcz, Mill Island focuses on the community aspects of architecture, as well as sustainable and responsible urban planning. As the World Leisure jury writes upon its announcement of the six winners,
In a broader sense, the project focuses on the social and cultural aspects of leisure as a solution for community inclusion, identity building, cultural heritage protection, respect for natural values and environment. The Mill Island presents the highest standards of sustainable and responsible leisure model, where revitalized infrastructure and quality program have achieved a positive long-term impact on the citizens, visitors and place.
The project commenced in 2006 and the final phase will be completed this year. With access to EU funding, the city was able to finance the revitalisation of the Mill House the Centre for Labour, Marina and Enterprise and the Currency Centre, among other buildings on the site. The so-called "black hole in the middle of the city" gradually gained a new reputation as a charming, fashionable area of the city.
Last year the island's Marinam, designed by the Rokiccy architecture studio, won a reader's poll held by Bryła.pl architecture website in Poland, with 22,000 votes as Building of the Year 2012. Many voters posted comments, with one declaring it a "pearl of our Mill Island" (ubujan). User ikke called it
beautiful, unassuming, brilliantly composed into the surroundings - the water, the island, the city centre, granaries, the modern Opera Nova. Wonderfully illuminated in the evening. I was in Bydgoszcz in the winter - it's obvious that there are great things happening there. I think that the marina will draw water enthusiasts from all over Europe.
The Marina's design was inspired by the shape of a wave. Constructed in wood, it corresponds to the port architecture of the island. It is surrounded by wildlife and illuminated at night. The facilities can accommodate 100 boats, including 16 rowboats, 5 motorboats and 80 kayaks. The 2,000-square-metre complex is managed by the Zawisze sports club, which offers a programme of sports and recreational activities, along with an on-site restaurant, spa and conference facilities.
The Rokiccy architectural studio is a family-run firm headed by Katarzyna Wojciechowska-Rokicka and Tomasz Rokicki, both educated at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Their style is characterised by adopting innovative trends into architectural forms, and revitalising landmark structures.
Founded in 1952, World Leisure is a world-wide, non-governmental association of persons and organisations dedicated to discovering and fostering architectural projects that promote well-being and access to leisure through cooperation with policymakers and the private sector.
Author: Anna Duda. Editing and translation by Agnieszka Le Nart
Source: bryla.gazetadom.pl, rokiccy.co, www.worldleisure.org