Masterplan for Stare Świdry in Warsaw
Urban design

A number of large, post-industrial areas, where modern, multi-functional estates may potentially be developed, have been selected in ‘The Districts of Warsaw’ programme. After having participated in the first edition of the programme (Port Żerański and FSO Żerań), A2P2 was engaged to create the development vision for the area of Stare Świdry in Białołęka. The site is located between Maria Skłodowska-Curie Bridge and Myśliborska Str. The new estate is to not only provide a high quality of life to its future residents, but also to meet the needs of the whole district suffering from infrastructural deficiencies.

The aim of the project was to develop in the design and consultation process a vision of transforming the area, which comprises former prefab housing components factory and a reclaimed landfill site for a nearby heat and power plant. In the 125-hectare area there is about 30 ha of compact site – property of the municipality – with access to a public road, located near the green areas of the Vistula. It was particularly important to provide the social infrastructure – educational, cultural and sport facilities – as well as technical, and above all transport, infrastructure. A new tram line is planned along Myśliborska and Familijna Str. and the proposed road system allows for running bus routes in each subsequent stage of development. Both the construction capacity of the area and the demand for individual services in the district have been estimated in detail. The most important assumptions of the project were to plan as many potential jobs for residents with different qualifications. The concept is in line with the guidelines of the Mieszkanie 2030 programme and other strategic documents of Warsaw.

The vision of the estate’s future was developed in a co-design process, a dialogue with various stakeholder groups. The technical discussions took place mainly with representatives of the offices and units of the Warsaw City Hall and the Białołęka District Office and experts invited to cooperate. During the open workshops, we discussed the future of Stare Świdrów with all interested parties, including mainly residents of the area and owners of private plots located in this area. The complex topic of the project required the creation of an interdisciplinary team of designers and industry, including in the field of sociology, transport engineering and environmental protection. We have invited experts who have both design and research experience to cooperate.

We proposed a several-stage development of the district, based on subsequent steps in the development of technical and social infrastructure. The urban layout of the estate is based on a coherent system of public spaces and green areas. These spaces are graded from the most urban ones, from the side of already urbanized areas, to more natural ones towards the Vistula. Buildings will be similarly shaped: from the more intensive development of the acoustic buffer along Myśliborska Street and the flyover of the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Bridge (mainly about the service function), through quarters of buildings forming a compact part of the new district, to more scattered urban villas immersed in the Vistula greenery. We have proposed numerous green connections in the direction of the Vistula River, where a 32-hectare naturalistic park will be built on the reclaimed ash landfills, in the very vicinity of the Natura 2000 area.

All buildings are divided into urban ‘nests’ – complexes with their own shopping street and a characteristic public space: a marketplace, a square with post-industrial elements or a recreational space by the water reservoir. Each of these areas will be equipped with its own school and each will be implemented as part of the same investment stage. This will facilitate neighbourly relations among new residents, employees and entrepreneurs. The programme of public spaces and green areas is planned so that they will be used throughout the year and throughout the day. Although during the consultations, there was a great demand for infrastructure for children, we also thought about two groups currently poorly represented in Białołęka, whose number will soon increase significantly: teenagers and seniors. Remains of the so called House Factory, among others reinforced concrete silos and a huge roofing in the Central Park that can become a place for local events and urban sports.

The flexibility of the regular layout with many repetitive modules allows its subsequent modification and filling with buildings of a different purpose, if the economic situation or the needs of the local community change over time. Sustainable development of new settlements requires not only green technologies, but above all simple and effective solutions that allow adapting to new conditions. These system solutions have been designed, which should be taken into account at the urban planning stage, i.e. local retention of rainwater. In addition, the entire proposed greenery will be “working green”, which in addition to rainwater storage will absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

The developed guidelines will serve as the basis for the assumptions of the Study of conditions and directions for spatial development for Warsaw, and more detailed for local spatial development plans or decisions on building conditions. The result of the process is the masterplan defining the program and planning parameters for the area. It will be used to undertake further planning and investment activities by units and entities of the Warsaw City Hall.

The entire report is available under the link: RAPORT

Area: 125 ha
Target population: approx. 15.000
The target number of jobs: approx. 13 500

Client: Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa, Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning
General Designer: A2P2 architecture & planning

Urban design and architecture:
Monika Arczyńska, PhD
Łukasz Pancewicz, PhD
Anna Jasieńska
Dawid Pesta
Barbara Tusk
Barbara Zgórska

Michał Kocikowski
Magdalena Ochał, PhD
Magdalena Różycka

Landscape design:
Joanna Rayss, PhD

Environmental Protection:
Miłosz Marciniak

Transport engineering:
Prof. Kazimierz Jamroz
Tomasz Mackun
Wojciech Kustra, PhD
Julia Slowy

Expertise of the office market:
Tomasz Bojęć

Anna Jasieńska (layout)
Olesya Kornilova (illustrations)