Jadwiga Rataj and Jadwiga Husarska have been approached by the Śląski Park in Katowice and asked to design module equipment for the park.
The first phase of the project were the interviews with the park’s users and a wide-scale sociological research developed and coordinated by sociologist Dr. Paulina Rojek-Adamska.
The research concerned the needs of the users of the biggest park in Europe.
The facility consists of numerous zones of various functionality, and to identify the needs related to the exploitation of all the zones, first, we had to determine the park’s users’ needs.
The analysis allowed us to better determine their needs. Not only in terms of equipment (rubbish bins, benches) but also facilitations like, for instance, a place for walking the dog (dog toilets) and bike stands.
People have the need to meet and get to know each other – to spend time with each other. There had been no places in the park before which would facilitate in establishing inter-personal relations. That is why we took psychological aspects into consideration when designing the park’s infrastructure.
We have designed a series of module benches, depending on the site at the park where they were to be placed – in woodlands, more open spaces, or next to main alleys.
The research results have shown us that people have a strong need for resting. That is why we have designed benches in vantage points for resting and benches at the entrance to the Zoo for a short-term rest. The latter offer a half-laying, half-sitting position.
The location of the park is also worth mentioning here, as it is situated on the border of three cities: Chorzów, Katowice, and Siemianowice Śląskie and is adjacent to the Silesian Stadium.
The analysis has shown that some areas of the park are more dangerous than others and incite a higher level of vandalism. Pathological situations occurring there are a result of poor lighting conditions, closeness to the stadium and less comfortable benches.
We have developed a better lighting solution for the areas requiring it and selected various sizes of rubbish bins, depending on the users’ needs.
When designing the bench sets we have also included tables which can be used for playing chess and serve as eating tables.
The inspiration for the furniture were organic forms growing out of the ground. The color of the concrete has been adapted to the specific characteristics of the Silesian region – it has been dimmed in the attempt to resemble coal.
The concrete has been appropriately strengthened and its parameters will significantly extend the lifespan of the accouterments.
We have selected specially impregnated pine wood which would be easy to replace and maintain by the park workers.
Two concept designs have been published on the websites related to the Silesian region, where its inhabitants could decide which of the concepts they liked better.
The Champion collection, shown on the right, was chosen by the public.