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Taking a walk on the bright side

by Tania Wannenburg
Hanging walkway Jnl 3 15

View the end result when combining inspired thoughts with creative and innovative energy, scattered with moments of sheer brilliance.

“There are ideas that arise from a need to experience a particular moment,” explains Krzysztof Zalewski from Zalewski Architecture Group in Poland. “Such a need – another hot day of summer spent in the office and a thought ‘if only I could go for a walk’ – became the inspiration for the project of a path suspended in the air, a Walk-on balcony.”

It is also one of these ideas that transformed the dull courtyard, that office occupants were forced to stare down at daily through their third-storey windows, into a magical space. “A normal path is tortuous, winds as one wends one’s way along it, relaxes and gives one contact with nature,” continues Krzysztof. “Therefore our Walk-on balcony path should also flow freely in space – offering a moment of relaxation, rest and allowing individuals to change their perspective. This influenced the Walk-on balcony’s shape – it winds freely and intertwines with itself, thereby allowing for a relaxing walk ‘from the office to the office’.”

Longing for a bit of greenery also encouraged the architects to treat the path as a large pot. They filled it with grass and gave it the freedom to grow in any direction and in a manner that nature intended. A dark courtyard, which was at the core of the problem, eventually became a source of inspiration for several solutions.

The surrounding walls offered the necessary support, and the Walk-on just had to be reached from all sides. Since the architects wanted to avoid any shading for their neighbours, the very idea of a path was ideal because it was winding and also very narrow, thereby preventing any shadows.

The end result is an 80 cm wide strip of greenery suspended in the air. “From the bottom it seems even narrower because of the plate made of polished metal,” explains Krzysztof. “The sheet – thanks to the bending – mirrors its surroundings and blurs the edges of the path.”
Krzysztof concludes by encapsulating the very essence of this entire project by stating: “Usually, form will follow function, but sometimes form follows fun, and our balcony certainly follows this path.”

For more information visit www.zalewskiag.com

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