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HMMD's Krakow Oxygen Home

Third Place - [Completed 11/18/2015]

This design proposes a linear parti which was chosen based on several design factors.


The linearity works to create a greater connection between the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology and the post-treatment rehabilitation center within the park. The length of the structure splits the park into an active zone and a passive zone, but maintains a continuity by allowing a visible connection at certain points.


A single long building allows for the creation of a connective clinic and community area without fully separating the two with a hard boundary or multiple structures. I believe it is important to create an inclusive environment for those suffering from lung cancer and other lung-related illnesses rather than ostracizing them.


The form of the building has two contrasting sides. The angular exterior plays off the surrounding architecture, and the concrete facade has been pressed with a patterned texture to add to the human scale of the building. The slope of the roof helps move rain water through the sedum, and into collections for the garden. Along side rain water, grey water can also be recycled for use in the garden.


On the other side, the interior is conically shaped with softer curves which was specifically done to assist in the natural air movement of the space. As heat from the occupants and vegetation rises, it will follow the cone from east to west, pulling air from the individual rooms as it passes. The smaller rooms are all half vaults facing the corridor, and depending on the program, have a different fill conditions: solid, clear glass, or frosted glass.


This quarter pipe makes full use of the length and solar exposure of the building; the nearly 600 square foot garden can be experienced inside or out which provides an especially interesting juxtaposition in the winter months.


The updated park landscaping has been designed to work with the structure by creating plazas parallel and perpendicular to the building. The inclusion of taller, native grasses is to assist in rain water retention as well as attempting to aid the local wildlife.




The decision to include an extensive interior garden was based on two factors: air filtration and food production.


Air filtration was by far the more important factor as not only do plants produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide, but certain varieties filter toxic agents found in the air. In 1989, NASA conducted the Clean Air Study which produced a list of plants that were found to eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air. Due to the potential sensitivity of occupants in the building, the notion of air filtration was a driving force in the design of this project.  


Whether due to the filtration of toxins or merely just carbon dioxide, the inclusion of plants in buildings has also been shown to help neutralize the effects of Sick Building Syndrome.


Whereas air filtration focuses on the medical portion of the program, food production is there as a benefit to the community center. The vegetables and herbs grown can be used in community dinners or simply as a healthy snack, in the case of snap peas or tomatoes. The food production will take place in the community end of the building, but to continue to promote healthy snacking a small patch of edibles will be place in the reception area.

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