img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Wanderer's Wonder commended: Mateusz Musial for Out of the green

Words:
Isabelle Priest

A galvanized steel mesh roof sheltering a small green space provides an urban corner that could be replicated on infill sites throughout our cities

Steel bars screen and define Mateusz Musial’s urban stopping point.
Steel bars screen and define Mateusz Musial’s urban stopping point.

Out of the green

Mateusz Musial, architect, WXCA Architecture Office

Recent rises in property prices have led to public space in cities becoming more squeezed and deprioritised. However, the pandemic has shown us how important it is, providing refuge particularly for those without much space of their own.

Out of the green develops a replicable scheme for the urban wanderer on an underdeveloped infill site of low investment value. With relatively small financial outlay, it turns the site into a local meeting place for residents that encourages biodiversity and shelter for animals, while requiring little maintenance.

The project is designed as a light, modular canopy that will enable use in good weather and bad. It aims to reduce material to a minimum and use recycled elements where possible. The roof is a galvanized steel mesh, while a polycarbonate layer ensures sunlight transmission and rain protection. 

The awning is supported by pillars that double as downpipes through which rainwater from the roof can be collected in underground tanks to be used for plant watering. Its envelope of varying-length steel bars also evokes the image of rain.

  • A galvanized steel mesh roof sits over the space.
    A galvanized steel mesh roof sits over the space.
  • Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
    Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
  • A modular canopy sits over a small area of green in the city.
    A modular canopy sits over a small area of green in the city.
  • Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
    Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
  • Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
    Out of the green by Mateusz Musial.
12345

The judges agreed the proposal provided an ideal urban stopping point, with Garreth McMahon suggesting it could even become a destination rather than just a place to stumble on. Hagos felt that the project ‘dealt with socio-economic issues more than other schemes on the longlist’.

Anna Liu enjoyed how ‘it channels attention into forgotten spaces and is quite mysterious, like a screened private space between wasteland and public realm’, and the way it could be applicable to many urban corners. ‘It would be bound to have around-the-clock activity that doesn’t have to be unsavoury but can be a celebration of people meeting.’

 

To view the winners, commended and shortlisted projects click here. RIBAJ Wanderers Wonder competition is produced in association with The Galvanizers Association

 

 

Latest

Launching our new summer series on inventive house extensions, Artefact co-founder Benedetta Rogers talks about a new wing to a detached home in Epsom, informed by the clients’ Caribbean heritage

Artefact on its new wing for a detached home in Epsom that spurns open-plan living spaces

The founding partner of Gustafson Porter + Bowman explains why she finds landscape architecture so fascinating, how it is great for who she is and why her mantra is ‘the sky is mine’

Why the landscape architect says ‘the sky is mine’

Three borough councils are expected to pipeline their projects through a new agreement designed to build engagement between the capital's public sector clients and a diverse range of architects

Three boroughs are expected to pipeline their projects through new agreement, which launches in May 2025

Howells’ new restaurant building has turned a run-down services area into a leisure asset and made a National Trust house into a local destination

From down-at-heel services area to leisure asset

RIBA-backed platform developed by Grimshaw-led team provides comprehensive guidance and management tools to help cut carbon throughout the building process

Grimshaw-led team's guidance and management tools cover the entire building process