Post By Manus Leung , Kacper Krywult
on 17. Apr 2013

Ten Thousand Miles

We've come a long way but we’re only halfway there!

Here’s our story – in a nutshell.

We initially met two years ago in Göteborg, Sweden. Both of us were exchange students – from Australia (Manus) and Poland (Kacper). The idea of teaming up for the first time was conceived during the mandatory student competition course for an interchange hub held at Chalmers University of Technology. The collaboration was a success and we were fortunate to be announced winners of the Wernstedt Sketch 2011.

Korsvägen Interchange Hub (2011) – scale model

When the semester ended we shook our hands and set sails for Sydney and Warsaw – keeping in touch despite the distance.

It was Manus – optimistic and enthusiastic enough – who suggested participating in this year’s Trimo Urban Crash Competition. Crazy as it may sound – dealing with 10-hour-time difference and being 10.000 miles apart – we decided to give it a shot. It was after we actually hit the ground running when we found out that once again we're dealing with an architectural object linked to transportation (hopefully we’re not secretly bound to¬ it forever – even though it’s unusually intriguing!).

Frankly speaking, the work was kind of funny. Due to uni and work we could only meet during mornings and evenings. But – flipped. So – whenever we met – one of us was pretty tired after the full day of work while the other one wasn’t quite yet awake, still rubbing his eyes and sipping the morning joe.

We used Skype video calls to talk and quite conveniently draw whatever we wanted to communicate on the ever so useful pizza boxes. During the work concerning the drawings as well as enhancing the renders we utilised the screen sharing option. Engaging cloud storage in the process played a crucial logistic role too providing us with an easy file sharing solution. Apart from the video calls we have exchanged hundreds of e-mails and instant messages. Since we weren't able to simply work on the same sketch together clarity of communication became a very key issue. Paradoxically – the disadvantages we had to face might have helped us achieve certain level of clarity in the final design and present the panels with all the trimmings.


The Design Process– sketches of the key concept phases

As it turned out, the remote work happens to be plain sailing – the collaboration was very convenient and unexpectedly effective. The team we form seem to be pretty well balanced as we complement each other. We also do share a common aesthetic taste so we perfectly understood each other’s opinion and always were able to ultimately come with a solution that was satisfactory for both of us in the long run. It’s fair to say the brief provided by Trimo was an intricate puzzle to solve and we really enjoyed every wee bit of cracking it!

Respecting the Context and Searching for Vistas – early design phase scale model

From the very beginning our work revolved within the subject of context. The relatively small scale called for careful and thoughtful decisions. Even though it does not necessarily comply with the modularity and the transportability of the container we were committed to providing a site specific design. Meticulous marking of the tree positions, analyzing the vistas and recognising the openings resulted in a fully contextual solution.

The Dunajska cesta proposal – scale model

The object we came up with was afterwards abstracted to a scheme that – in turn – can be adapted to virtually any site conditions with slight adjustments. This solution allows the additional bike bases to be placed elsewhere in the city. The new bases both maintain the primary idea as well as recognise the direct relationship to their own context, thus being simulatneously uniform and unique in every situation. The shipping container construction makes it easy to implement, disassemble, and replace the base. As a result, our proposal holds the idea of a universal building with a touch of local context.

Adaptable Typology – schematic plans

As stated in the beginning – we’re in the middle of the journey now. With more work to come we’re excited yet focused as we’re eagerly waiting to get our hands dirty both during further development process and–ultimately–on the construction site!


Manus Leung and Kacper Krywult, Trimo Urban Crash 2013 winners