Residential building in Poznań looks like a hill

KWK Promes Studio is designing new architecture in the Polish city that incorporates into its composition a facade entirely covered with 140,000 plants.

After a nomination for the renowned Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024, studio KWK Promes is working on a new residential project in Poznań, Poland, defined by its main façade almost entirely covered in greenery and enveloped by nearly 140,000 plants.

Volumetrically, the building emerges from the existing ground in an organic way, mimicking the extent of the surrounding green hill. The facade’s vegetation will blend seamlessly with the surrounding greenery, with plants also present on the roof.

“By providing expansive and accessible greenery, as in the case of Aura, we have the potential to reshape our cities,” says Robert Konieczny, at the direction of the Polish firm. “Instead of urban heat islands, we can create buildings that regulate humidity and temperature, both internally and in the surrounding environment. This type of architecture not only improves the aesthetics of a neighborhood, but also significantly improves living conditions through a favorable microclimate.”

KWK Promes, Aura, Poznań, Poland. Courtesy KWK Promes, visualizations © Little Moon Studio

The vegetation designed for Aura will grow along a specially designed structure by KWK Promes, which will essentially form a vertical garden on the facade. Between the structure and the building wall will be an air gap that will act as a natural insulator, protecting the building from excessive heat during the hot season. An automated irrigation system using 90 percent rainwater collected on-site will ensure the health of the plants, minimizing the need for manual maintenance.

For the interior design of the building, investor Piotr Voelkel, a well-known art collector and patron, enlisted the talents of young artist Alicja Biała. Biała’s artistic touch enriches the lobby with a unique sculptural lamp and a nature-inspired relief.

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