Composition First

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Architect, Axonometric, Monochromatic, Plan, Texture

Composition First

Monika Debowska




Residential Quarter_Game of Forms 

The project addresses the design of a residential area, an urban space related to the subject of the Ideal City. We can define the city as a space built by architecture, as a result of the GAME OF FORMS. One of the significant elements of urban space is definitly the building quarter. Watching the dynamic urban organism one easily notices the typical geometry which characterizes each city.

Residential Quarter_Game of Forms_quarter axo_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2008


The project questions how to demonstrate the monumentality of the object? Monumental is what makes us give respect in front of some object. Considering the Greek temples, and pyramids in Egypt, these are monumental forms, which have our respect, giving us a sense of stability and security at the same time.

Residential Quarter_Game of Forms_floor plan 1_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2008Residential Quarter_Game of Forms_floor plans_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2008


The Play of Elementary Solids_House 

The project uses basic forms as for example cubes, spheres, cylinders to create a single family house.

The Play of Elementary Solids_House_axonometric view_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2007



Who influences you graphically?

During my studies I was very focused on Suprematism Painting. I often use abstract-geometrical composition of artist like El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich or Laszlo Moholo Nagy as a pretext to create my architecture.
A great influence on me had also art of Sol LeWitt and Erwin Heerich’s sculptures. They were using the simplest geometrical solids and just through small cuts and transformations were able to give a new meaning and transformes simple cube in a work of art.

Sol LeWitt_forms derived from a cube

Sol LeWitt_forms derived from a cube

Erwin Heerich_no title02

Erwin Heerich_no title

Erwin Heerich_no title01

Erwin Heerich_no title0

How and to what extents have the projects developed as a student effect how you practice as an architect now?

I can say that in the design process for sure the most important thing for me is composition. At the beginning I have to find the form of the object and give it the right shape, only then I start to think about the internal or external aspects, such as facade, color, material or texture.

Monument_Museum_elevation west_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2010


As a student I did not pay much attention to the surroundings in which the object is created, now I learned that during the design process we can not ignore this element because it is in some way a part of our project. Sometimes the same building located in two different places loses or gains in its reception. If there are no competitive objects in around, it is an undeniable favorite, but when the background is made up of similar objects, the uniqueness of a given building is not so obvious, it is not visible in comparison with others.

Monument_Museum_site plan graphic_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2010


What is your take on the current state of the museum as icon?

I think that the institution of the museum plays a very important role in our society, in shaping our national identity. Museums as a House of Art defines our culture, our historical significance and also our criteria of beauty. In some way museums are a link between the past and the future, they are icons because they are a reflection of the era in which we live.
Definitely museums are pieces of art in themselves and often compete with the art they exhibit. As an example, we can take the Guggenheim Museum in New York or The Grazer Kunsthaus in Austria which have become true symbols of these cities.

How is the drawing a tool through which you develop the project rather than a final product? 

I belive that drawing is a powerful medium of communication. I know that in our time we all use computers, fewer and fewer architects begin their work on a piece of paper. But for me, a hand-made sketches are still the quickest way to develop my idea and find the right proportions of the project. Only then I start my work on the computer.

How has your relation towards the drawing changed from when you were a student to now as a practicing architect?

I am always guided by the principle that the graphic representation of the project should be clear enough to not require explanation.

Residential Quarter_Game of Forms_floor plan 0_Monika Debowska_Technical University of Cracow, 2008

Residential Quarter_Game of Forms


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