About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2549-2554
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.0671

Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain

THE ARCHITECT VS. USERS – THE PROBLEM OF BALCONIES IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDENT RESEARCH

J. Tymkiewicz

Silesian University of Technology (POLAND)
The author of the article decided to draw students’ attention to the general, but often ignored, problem of multifunctionality of balconies in multifamily buildings in Poland. Designed for relaxation and recreation and built for the purpose of decorating the facade – in reality they often constitute elements that are visibly adjusted by users to meet their needs. After such interference balconies become a contradiction of their primary function. What is more, climate change has caused the balconies of these buildings to overheat, forcing residents to build makeshift covers. This stands in contradiction to the esthetics of building.

Students were asked to complete a task in one course during first year of 1st cycle studies at the Faculty of Architecture. They had to find, document and make a critical analysis of controversial examples of users intervening into the esthetics of facades around their balconies - designed in the past by architects who kept in mind the appearance of the building. For this purpose, the author prepared a tool available to students, called “balcony assessment sheet”. Students, by making observations in their own environment and by choosing a specific balcony, had to “diagnose” (in an expert way, through observation) the problems the users had to deal with, how they solved them and what benefits they achieved. These were definitely negative examples which no one could ignore. That is why at the next stage students would correctly locate and elaborate on the proper and positive solution to the problem diagnosed in the first stage.

Approximately 150 students, divided into 5 groups, took part in the project. As part of each group, specific “Assessment Sheets” were prepared individually along with some common conclusions. Results were presented by students in the form of a multimedia presentation connected with a short discussion. That way, students were included into the process of education and the broadening of knowledge.

In the article methodology of doing research with students as well as the aforementioned research tool were presented. It should be highlighted that the results of research alone were not the overriding target. The aim definitely featured a didactic nature, namely: it was supposed to draw the attention of future young architects to the realistic problem of balcony in Polish cities (especially housing estates full of block-of-flats) and their dwellers. Students greatly succeeded in relation to the problem of sun protection of facade which they considered to be a great challenge for contemporary architecture, impossible to ignore in their projects.

Global warming, climate change or sustainable development – these are catchphrases that can be found in the press, TV programs, scientific publications, in the contents of lectures given at universities but it seems that they are not always acquired by students of the Faculty of Architecture and translated into their design solutions. Thanks to this not overly large project, connected with problems coming from students’ closest surrounding, from their own lives, the author hopes that they successfully managed to develop in students the kind of architectural mindset of the 21st century. A mindset where architects must face up to various needs of users and find compromise between form and esthetics, as well as functionality of architectonic solutions, including those which are related to the facade.
@InProceedings{TYMKIEWICZ2019ARC,
author = {Tymkiewicz, J.},
title = {THE ARCHITECT VS. USERS – THE PROBLEM OF BALCONIES IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDENT RESEARCH},
series = {12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-14755-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2019.0671},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2019.0671},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {11-13 November, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {2549-2554}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Tymkiewicz
TI - THE ARCHITECT VS. USERS – THE PROBLEM OF BALCONIES IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDENT RESEARCH
SN - 978-84-09-14755-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2019.0671
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 November, 2019
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2019 Proceedings
SP - 2549
EP - 2554
ER -
J. Tymkiewicz (2019) THE ARCHITECT VS. USERS – THE PROBLEM OF BALCONIES IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. CONCLUSIONS FROM STUDENT RESEARCH, ICERI2019 Proceedings, pp. 2549-2554.
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