In the article the question about the issue of beauty and energy in Polish architecture is considered in the context of experience in the design of buildings and housing estates collected in the last twenty years by the Warsaw studio Grupa 5 Architekci. The conceptual, urban and architectural assumptions are illustrated by three examples representative of different, key problem issues.
The article concerns problems with shaping contemporary housing estates. By analyzing housing structures designed in recent years, the aim was to demonstrate the importance of creating the continuity of public spaces in order to achieve places seen as attractive and presenting features of high quality urban space. Essential for the research is the question about the conditions which should be fulfi lled when creating the ideal residential place which then leads to a series of answers. These included indicating a good location with functional and aesthetic urban/architectural solutions. Environmental issues are important as well. Regardless of whether it is a multi-family dwelling or a single family house, a good neighborhood and its location in a well-connected place with necessary basic services within walking range are important. It is also signifi cant how the public space was shaped and whether a natural network was created. Due to factors such as the specifi city of the structure’s location in the city and diff erent surfaces of designed estates, as well as the variety of residential buildings being constructed, it is often diffi cult to assess them unambiguously. Importantly, this assessment also includes social and economic aspects as well as technical issues. However, by using multi-directional research it can be noted that the forms of public spaces within housing complexes play an important role in the creation of high-quality structures, perceived as attractive not only by the residents.
The article describes the design principles, the course of work on the project and the implementation of the Nowe Żerniki district, in the context of the theory of sustainable housing complexes. By comparing the settlement to the Aspern Seestadt, which is considered to be the leading European example of new district development, the author tries to find out, if Nowe Żerniki meets the latest European urban standards and can be called innovative on a European scale. Not only the final shape of the settlement was assessed, but also the design process and functional assumptions of the estate.