JANÓW LUBELSKI – Already the home to several tourist attractions, Janów Lubelski – a town in eastern Poland – recently inaugurated its newest addition: an interactive scientific and recreational centre. Named Zoom Natury Recreational Park, the site is located within the banks of a bay and spans ten hectares and comprises six educational facilities. The large project, designed by architect firm Nizio Design International, offers a site where the buildings appear to be part of the natural landscape.
The project communicates the message of ‘learning about proper human influence on the environment, taking a glimpse into the secrets of nature,’ explain the architects. The design combines architecture with ecology, creating structures secondary to nature while, at the same time, educating visitors participating in exhibitions at different levels of knowledge and development.
Out of the six facilities, two structures – both at the extremities of the site – are particularly intriguing. The building located at the entrance, next to the main pedestrian pathway, welcomes visitors and leads them to the central square of the park. Mirroring the surrounding forest, concrete columns support a timber-built canopy and symbolise the ‘gateway’ of the Zoom Natury. Gabions and wood timbers clad the façades, while stones and various tree trunks fashion the inside of the pavilion. The building is both an exercise and lesson in sustainability as visitors are familiarised with local natural resources.
An 11-m-high observation tower, aligned with the entrance pavilion, is located at the other end of the park, nestled in the trees. Stairs zigzag around the interlocking concrete columns leading to the top of the structure. Here, visitors can choose from three viewpoints where they can overlook the entire site complex while appreciating the natural surroundings.
Photo courtesy of Nizio Design International