Stary Rynek Year: 2015 | Location: Czestochowa, Stary Rynek, PL | Status: competition, 2nd prize | Client: Municipality of Czestochowa | Size: pavilion 100 m², area 6500 m² Designers: Tim Kouthoofd, Piotr Szczesniak
Bygg architecture participated in the contest for transformation of the Old Market Square in Czestochowa. The project was rewarded by the 2nd prize.
Czestochowa is a city of 200,000 inhabitants in the south of Poland and is one of the most important pilgrimage destination for Catholics at Jasna Góra monastery. The center of the city moved in the course of time to Jasna Góra and near The New Market Square, making The Old Market Square (Stary Rynek) less significant. In recent decades, during archaeological excavations the cellars of the old city hall are found.
The goal of the competition was to renew The Old Market Square with surrounding streets; to design a new functional object with public toilets and café; to design exhibition space for archeological artifacts and to make the historical cellars accessible. An important requirement was the possibility to display balancing, human scale sculptures of world famous artist J. Kędziora.
The square, which has a natural slope, is leveled allowing many activities. The square paved with compressed lime stone gravel is framed by a frame of granite stairs and ramps. In the place of the remains of the old well, a water feature has been designed. The square received a new identity and becomes a lively and playful public space for events, with a pleasant ‘Mediterranean’ character, high quality materials and a consistently implemented design style for all street furniture, like two sided street lights or wooden sitting places.
A very important element in the design is reviving the contour of the old town hall with a steel skeleton. The contour of the old town hall will serve as a new landmark for the old center, so that the past is visible ion a modern way and is also the place to display balancing sculptures. The archeological cellars are visible from the top due to glass floors and by excavating the southern part of the square, making it accessible and visible. The archeological exhibits, public toilets and facility areas are to be placed under the square. In the contour of one of the rooms of the old town hall a bar has been designed as a glass pavilion.
The design for Stary Rynek connects past, present and future in a subtle and meaningful way; while also increasing the usability of the square.