Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part

Wave One, of the European Center for Families, is located 400 meters from the Baltic Sea in what is historically known as a health resort town. The concept is derived from the complexity of sea waves and the local vernacular of carved ornamental detailing on facade elements. Drawing upon this, the architects created a site concept composed of five inter-related buildings, reminiscent of waves. Construction continues on three out of five buildings planned for the site. The final building (Wave Three) is in the design phase. Construction is expected to be completed in 2023.


South Elevation, main entrance
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko


The white perforated facade, enfolding Wave One, was partly inspired by a series of photographs by Pierre Carreau, titled AquaViva. The architects analyzed the geometric complexity of the sea waves captured by the photographer. The arched 3D forms, frozen in time, were translated into an architectural language that shaped the building’s final form. With 1,362 perforated triangular panels, the facade, just like a wave, bends at its crest, the top of the building.


South Elevation, partial facade
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko


South Elevation, entrance canopy detail
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko

Heat management

In a facility with such a high saturation of technological equipment, many of which have to work 24 hours a day, it is very important to protect the rooms from overheating. In order to avoid such threats, and to prevent enlarging the cooling systems, a number of passive solutions were used. For instance, the architects resigned from large glass surfaces. Instead, the surface area of the designed windows provides optimal natural lighting conditions for the laboratory rooms. Furthermore, the building façade consists of two layers. The outer layer of the facade acts as a continuous protective barrier over the building, shielding the exterior wall from heating up, and thus preventing the interior rooms from overheating. This barrier also has a positive effect on its surroundings and guards against urban heat island phenomenon.


South Elevation, partial view
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko


Main entrance hall
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko


The interiors, in particular the lab rooms, were designed to adapt to the frequent technological advances in medical diagnostic services that will inevitably be introduced in the future. As such, rooms where laboratory tests are performed inside closed automated lab devices have exposed ceiling installations. Partition walls in the laboratories are built in a way to ease their dismantling. All of these procedures will significantly reduce the time needed to install new laboratory equipment in the future.


Laboratory Main Room
Photo credit: © FAAB, Photographer: Maciej Lulko

About FAAB studio

Founded in Warsaw, FAAB studio is involved in projects in Poland and worldwide. FAAB creates architecture, landscape, and urban environments, as well as interior and graphic design, complemented with cutting-edge engineering and consultancy. FAAB performs complex research and meticulous design that yields innovative and uncommon buildings and spaces. As a constantly evolving practice, they look for solutions that respond to rapidly shifting and advancing modern life, with the aspiration to look beyond the present.