The ASW Architekci design studio, established in 2005 by architects Michał Ankiersztajn, Dariusz Stankiewicz and Jarosław Wroński, are responsible for the design of the hotel. The task was a difficult one due to the considerable cubage and demanding location, that the historical district of Cracow undoubtedly is. The plot was bigger than those usually occupied by single tenement houses, and the urban planning premises were clear: imitate the frontage typical for the quarter. How was this accomplished? The façade is formed by two subtly-designed multi-storey structures. A seemingly two-storey passage invites inside the building, which has an attractive atrium and an internal courtyard. The size of the building required creating a façade which, despite being very regular in design, would have a private character.
Therefore, the choice of the right material was an important factor. “We chose brick, solid and real ceramics, far from the temporariness typical for today’s architecture,” says Michał Ankiersztajn, one of the authors of the project. “We wanted to find a material that would fit and be consistent with the unique character of Kazimierz.” They chose friendly, yet elegant colours, and the sand and lime texture of the Wienerberger Binz 430 brick, as a purposefully selected opposite of the perfect factory clinker. The selected product superbly combined craftsmanship of the masons and the natural randomness of bricks.
Structural divisions were designed in the main solids of the hotel to adapt the façade to the sizes of the nearest buildings. The final result was further improved by laying bricks in various patterns and three-dimensional structures that have a particularly aesthetic appeal in daylight and visually enrich the façade on cloudy days.
The only elements that contrast with the ceramic façade are the steel and glass parts of the ground floor, a part of the attic and the openwork pavilion in the corner part. Steel, glass and wood of the front veranda contrast with one another and bring to mind garden gazebos, which will eventually harmonise with the vegetation ‘climbing down’ the green roof above the ground floor of the hotel’s corner part. Thanks to the use of brick and a well-thought-out arrangement, the atrium became a private and authentic interior, and a refuge for the guests.
Project nameHotel Puro Kazimierz, Cracow, Poland
Wienerberger Binz 430
Year of completion2018