Presentation boards full resolution pdf

The aim of the “Otwock Oasis” project is to redesign a centre of Otwock – a small town near Warsaw.

The project is an attempt of showing that the development of the city can be more than a money game. We propose that the city of Otwock invites the activists and non-goverment organisations that can help the situation while bringing in additional cultural quality to the everyday life, introducing new work possibilities, work-life balance solutions and a new local centre for business and entertainment.
The main premise is that the city will supply the necessary infrastructure – buildings, transportation hub, etc, while the invited NGO’s will create new services that will serve both the inhabitants of Otwock and the new users drawn from neighbouring cities and right-side Warsaw districts. The services will mainy include: coworking and workshop spaces, day-care and education, culture and sport.

The location chosen is a wide strech of land currently owned by train company, that is sitting between the existent historical centre and the train station. Development of this land will enable the creation of new „Cultural Social District” with forementioned services as well as valuable public space. Using also two big plots that were previously being developed for commercial centres as well as modyfing the road layout it was possible to create a pedestrian friendly central zone, keeping the market and existent shops, adding three public squares with different forms and functions as well as a fair amount of greenery.


New Centre of Otwock-What do we want to design?

Our goal is to design the city center as in its original meaning – an area close to the main  transportation hub (train stations and bus stops) where shopping, education, various services and recreational space could be located.


So that it would serve local community as well as be functional and aesthetically appealing for commuting people and visitors. The services would serve both the inhabitants of Otwock as well as the incomers from other neighboring areas (Karczew, Józefów and Warsaw districts located along the train line like Wawer or Anin).  The main premise is that the people living close to the SKM train stations would be willing to commute to Otwock to access the services valuable to them instead of going to the centre of Warsaw, as the time necessary to reach it is similar, while lower rent prices in Otwock allow for the development of services that could not compete on Warsaw real estate market. The project goal would be providing co-work spaces,  institutions for education and culture (library, community centre with extracurricular classes) as well as a daycare center (kindergarten and nursery, which are lacking in Warsaw), while strengthening the shopping function of the adjustent area and adding minor recreational facilities.


We would like to take into consideration  the needs of the parents of smaller children for whom it is quite a challenge to coordinate taking care of the child, work and shopping. By locating the offices/co-working next to the market and daycare. The parents can easily get everything done in the same area and commute back home. Our proposal, regarding work activity, taking care of children and education, comes from the consideration of the needs of community, even of a smaller city with more limited funds, and ones that don’t demand a big tourism movement.


We would like to apply the principles of shared economy and social economy to be able to supply such services on a relatively low budget. The city would invest in the infrastructure (buildings, roads, public areas facilities like lighting etc) while  co-works, cultural centres, workshops, daycares would be run by NGOs, which would be funded by both public grants and payments by the users. In this model, the local government is relieved of the duty to hire big amounts of people and finance the upkeep of the institutions. For the NGOs it means freedom to provide more innovative, adjustable services while having an easy start in terms of acquiring the main infrastructure.


There already are the examples of such or similar services in Poland:

  • related to work: co-works for parents (Mam biuro, Co mamy), co-works for artists and freelancers (Biurco, Młyn Zabierzów), shared workshops for craftsmen (FabLab Łódź, Wytwórnia Kraków)
  • related to child-care and early education (up to teen years) – Inspiro Dom kultury, Podłęże and various private run day-care centres
  •  related to extracurricular education and community building – LAS Laboratorium Aktywności Społecznej, Niepołomice; Dwa Jelonki, Warsaw;
  • related to culture on train stations– Falenica PKP station (cinema), Rumia train station (library and mediateque), Wrocław train station (library), Tarnów train station (gallery)

More information on referencial institutions:

  1. Coworking for parents – Mam biuro, Warsaw


b) coworking for parents – Co mamy, Wroclaw


c) coworking for freelancers with extra services – Młyn Zabierzów (can be reached in 15-20 min by train from Cracow, even though it’s not located there)


d) shared workshop FabLab run as a NGO in Lodz


e) shared workshop and coworking Wytwórnia run as a NGO in Cracow


f) community centre run as a NGO with the help of the local government in Podłężen. Cracow – Inspiro Dom Kultury – offering classes for people between 3 and 99 years old.


g) a space to be rented by different user groups or lent to the community for various meetings in Jelonki district (Wola) in Warsaw – enabling the inhabitants to create an array of classes and meetings


h) train station cinema – Falenica n. Warsaw


i) train station library – Rumia n. Sopot


j) train station library – Wroclaw


k)    a space to be rented by different user groups or lent to the community for various meetings in Niepolomice in Cracow – enabling the inhabitants to create an array of classes and meetings



An important aspect to make such functions work well, especially as supralocal services is a creation of a well-functioning transportation hub – coordinating bus routes and enabling easy transfer between them, improvement of the rail access, introducing of shared bikes. This connects directly to the existent city planning in terms of creating a low-speed zone in the historical centre of the town as well as Park & Ride areas near to the train station.


The area of the design is adjustment to the railway on one side and including the market on the other. There is an empty unfinished building, that could be rehabilitated as a part of the design as well as neighbouring public spaces and institutions. The area is located between the rail tracks on the West, Staszica Str on the East, Powstańców Warszawy Str on the South and Rzemieślnicza Str on the North.


Attractive views in Otwock:



  •   We would like to create a functional centre of a small town, where one can have their local needs met (a question of incentivising of relocation of shopping and educational facilities as well as introduction of new functions)
  •  We are looking for the services that require a low budget (Otwock can’t afford to run many social services on its own) while the users of this services would bring a indirect income to the city (use local market and other existent services) – shared economy, social economy.  The newly designed area could show the potential of this new ways of looking at the market and state run services in the area where low rents and low competition enables such experiment. If successful, it could combat unemployment and common care services deficiencies.
  •  The quality of life in Otwock would get better which could create an influx of new inhabitants to the city, which lost a big part of its historical population.
  •  the historic supralocal function of Otwock (healthcare services) is now obsolete and so there is a need for a new idea for how Otwock could function.
  •  The area we have chosen needs an intervention to use its full potential and a city of Otwock, even though it’s relatively small in population, needs this area to be transformed to bring a good quality of life to the inhabitants


Whole designing process is depicted by 4 ‚actors’, brought to life by designers in order to take part in the vision of future of Otwock. Their task is to participate in every stage of the project comming to life.


The picture below presents analysis of the existing infrastructure with symbolic marks of the quality and function of the buildings.


Diagram below is a simple representation of the encountered problems and ideas how to use them as a potential adavantages of the terrain.