Micro-installations on stairs near Piaskowy bridge in Wrocław

Source: Studio NO.


Studio NO: Magda Szwajcowska, Michał Majewski

Type of Area

Large river with artificial banks

Land/water interaction


Built Environment Types

High built
Low green

Scale of Impact

District/ neighbourhood

Intervention Scale (Spatial)

Moderate site

Project Types

Riverfront development
Outdoor Recreation
Urban design

Urban/ Rural

Inner urban area

Visibility and Openness

Partly enclosed
Partly contained

Relaxation by the River

This temporary installation was designed and constructed to provide a recreational function to a run-down space near the river. The stairs to the water, built some decades ago, provide a potential to a view and proximity of the water, but none of the infrastructure needed for a longer stay: no seats or benches. The intervention was designed and constructed by No studio based in Wrocław in 2016 as a part of DOFA, the Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture as part of activities organized in Wrocław as European Capital of Culture 2016; after the festival these seating installations were expanded to other places as well. With very little investment and minimal design (almost no design according to the authors) the previously neglected and underused space near the river became functional. The installations were constructed from simple plywood and were easy to build on site. 

The design provided simple seating and sunbathing places for one or two persons built into the existing concrete steps; therefore, these simple constructions provided a function which was only potentially possible beforehand, due to the lack of functional infrastructure. Seen from the other river side, the colourful benches attract attention and invite the users explore the stairs near the river. This installation was site-specific and revealed the hidden potential (affordances) of a place. The design offered a possibility to stay, relax and socialise near the water while enjoying the view of the river. 

Perception and Meaning

Place identity
Genius loci
Place attachment

Health and Wellbeing

Increases socialisation
Place affordance
Increased physical activities

Aesthetic experience

Interaction with Water