New school for Warsaw

Schoolchildren enjoy learning and playing in a wonderful environment.

Troldtekt acoustic panels as wall cladding in sports hall
Photo: Photolicous Piotr Skorek

This new primary school is located in Warsaw in the area of Ruskowy Bród and Verdiego Streets. It was designed by Lambert architects and built by Erbud, a company which has been constructing public buildings throughout Poland for years.

The school is believed to be the biggest construction investment that the local authority has ever undertaken. “This has been a long-awaited project and much needed,” says Dariusz Kacprzak, Deputy Mayor of the Białołęka District,

Designed to accommodate over a thousand pupils and with such a dense and young population, one of the essential design criteria was to create rooms which efficiently fulfill their different functions. At the same time, it had to be the perfect environment in which to learn, socialise and play.

The most dramatic part of the project is the stunning 24m x 44m sports hall with auditorium, storerooms for sports equipment and changing rooms, as well as dining and kitchen units.

It is lit by a narrow perimeter of clerestory windows with artificial spotlighting installed onto the ceiling. Troldtekt’s wood wool panels line the walls and are cleverly used to form a suspended ceiling above. This not only allows for the mechanical and electrical services and lighting to be hidden out of view but the floating ceiling, complete with gaps, adds depth and definition to the otherwise large expanse. They create an attractive striped canopy effect while helping to improve the hall’s interior acoustics and dampening the noise from the users below. The colour of the panels complements the colour of the central floor area which also has a green surround and rows of pull-out seating.

In other areas of the school, such as corridors, the wool wood panels have been installed to create vertical baffles to break up the ceilings. These not only look interesting and add depth to these bland spaces but also maximise absorption of sound in these high traffic areas.

The whole school complex consists of several interconnected one and three storey buildings divided into many different classrooms and the sports hall. In addition to the classrooms, the area for younger pupils includes kitchen facilities, library, corrective gymnastics room, changing rooms, administration offices and special purpose rooms.

In the area for older children, there are teaching rooms, changing rooms, library and dining room, a small shop and an internal radio station. On the first and second floors are special purpose rooms such for computer, biology and geography studies plus rooms for language, technology and art plus the physics and chemistry laboratories.

Via a footbridge over Ruskowy Bród Street, the school is connected to its sports fields (football, handball and universal - for basketball, volleyball and tennis) and playgrounds. After school and on weekends, they are available for use by the town’s residents. In addition, an internal road provides access to the school and 148 parking spaces. Elsewhere, a ‘kiss & ride’ zone has been set up where parents taking their children to school will be able to stop for a while.

Other works to be completed include the primary school building which will be adapted for people with disabilities and the installation of further energy-efficient and renewable energy sources such as air-to-water heat pumps.

This project is another example of how sustainable and energy-efficient products can be brought together to create buildings fit for the future and ones which lead the way in sustainable design.