By Zsalakó Tamás & Trippó Benjámin (Zsalakó Építőműhely Kft)
Eastern Europe - The freedom of the panel
In the 40 years of the socialist era millions of flats were built of precast concrete blocks, commonly known as "panel" in several languages. The number of more than 66.000 buildings in Poland, about 20.000 in the Czech Republic and 13.000 in Hungary illustrates the volume of the systematized urban development. This difficult heritage sets heavy challenge for experts and politicians even 25 years after the fall of communism.
The general renovation of the buildings, energy modernization is solvable, but the damage caused in the traditional urban context is irreversible. Any chance to correct the existing state need innovative ideas, demolition thousands of private properties is out of question, while the static state of the reinforced concrete blocks is still excellent.
Dedicate millions of square meters of concrete slab roofs as building plots for real estate development in densely populated districts of cities, with existing utility connections is an obvious option. The boring and despised modular system turn benefit, providing opportunity for economical and rapid construction using prefabricated structural elements. The technical characters of the MetsaWood product range is ideal for this purpose. Static reliability, fire-, weather resistance properties and solutions, low structural weight, low precast costs essential to meet the economical, industrial, and official requirements. Despite of the typified system it's possible to create various floor plans and facades and finally the expansion of the existing buildings shall result a better architectural character.
The chosen example building is in Debrecen. The urban context, collision of the historical heritage and the brutal modern in a densely populated city center, the more than hundred roof top building plot in only two building types is suitable to illustrate our idea, and our attempt to find answer to a general and widespread architectural challenge.
To meet fire evacuation requirements a rooftop street goes along the buildings connecting stairways. This criteria leaded to the opportunity to create a rooftop urban space, halve the distance to the free air for every habitants. The sidewalk with panorama view is an additional and unique benefit in the lowland situated city, provides a special feeling of freedom.