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City Box

Politechnika Wrocławska / wydział architektury


Society is adapting to the new pandemic situation, and so must architecture and town planning. Post-pandemic cities require modern solutions and adaptability. Keeping in mind social distancing, we created a city-box.

The buildings are made of square cubes. Different typologies of rooms can be achieved by connecting or disconnecting the modules. Due to the coronavirus, people have gained social anxiety. The sliding walls will let the user change room layout and create smaller spaces to quiet down and relax. Then, the whole area can become an open space again. In critical situations, the room can be also changed into an isolation ward.

The passages between the buildings will reduce the foot traffic, as the pedestrians will find new interesting paths. This way we also get interesting viewpoints, that can please one’s day.

The diversity of the buildings creates a natural path to follow thru the whole area. When exiting the underground communication, the buildings are calm and more simple. When we go deeper, the structures become more vibrant and interesting. It’s like entering a magical labyrinth that will stimulate all senses.


Contact with nature after isolation is key. We planned a lot of greenery in our project: extensive roofs and trees and plants in the parks between the buildings. We also designed a rainwater harvesting system. The plants in the project will fulfil the function of water gardens. This will reduce the waste of water.

We designed different heights of the building in order to get optimal sunlight. We included sunshields on top of the windows to reduce the use of electrical heating. The sunlight won’t get in the rooms during the summer, keeping them cool. In winter, however due to the different angle of incidence of light, the sun will get in the areas and warm them up.


We analyzed different quarters in some of the biggest European cities. We wanted to see the scale of the area and then decide what we should include in our project. This way, the district we created will fit to Polish and Romanian cities.

Jury Comments

Arjan Dingsté: The project aims to address the current day challenges. In its formal representation blending the contemporary pixel carving of MVRDV's work with the somehow dystopian Metabolist architecture of the last century.

It would have been interesting to see how such pixel spaces would work with themes addressed in the project textual description.

Dimitris Pergamalis: Graphically - an interesting presentation, but the idea of human isolation as a pattern that creates urban environment is improbable. Human connection is essential in our future existence, no matter the conditions. The recent pandemic has clearly demonstrated it.

Andrei Șerbescu: It could be legitimate for us to consider that the pandemic has deeply modified the structure and behavior of the entire society. Still, it is hard (and worrying) to look at this moment as the starting point for the future city’s new setup. Modularity can be a very powerful tool, but it is not, it cannot be enough to create by itself beautiful places (houses and cities, altogether) to live in. Here, it seems to be the only instrument in use, shaping particular buildings but possibly ordinary cities.