• The Contemporary Architecture Competition of the European Union aims to find architectural realizations which are relevant not only to modern times, but have the potential to give directions to future generations. An example and a symbol of such architecture is the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, ​​where the Foundation organizing the competition has its seat. Projects nominated by a group of experts, specialists in the field of architecture appointed by the Foundation, are submitted to the competition.
  • Selected objects should be characterized by an innovative and creative approach to the idea, form and function, social impact, and shaping sustainable development. The award recognizes good building practices aimed at improving living conditions while respecting the environment. These elements are a key condition set by the European Commission for contemporary architecture. The prize winner should be an iconic work. A work carried out with the user’s well-being and respect for the natural environment in mind, which provokes reflection. A work in the field of the Art of Architecture which is an inspiration.
  •  
  • The exhibition focuses on a small fraction of all 523 nominations from all over Europe. It presents 25 best projects from Poland from the last, still ongoing, edition of the competition. 2022 is a cumulative year. The prize, awarded every two years, was suspended in 2020, which increased the group of realization competing for the highest trophy. Thanks to this, on a broader example, we can take a closer look at the condition of Polish contemporary architecture.
  • The exhibition presents the ideas that the creators were guided by, juxtaposed with the opinions of experts nominating for the award. We can analyze whether the architects’ intentions and design directions contained in their work are read as intended. We can trace the multidimensionality of projects and learn about their distinguishing features. In addition to this year’s Polish nominations, we briefly present 523 European nominations, projects from previous editions of the competition from Poland, and all the winners from the beginning of the award.
  • The competition is not yet settled, during the exhibition, a shortlist of projects selected for the next stage and a list of finalists will be announced. Will there be objects presented at this exhibition among them? Time will tell. We hope that the presented material will allow for deeper reflection and a better understanding of what good Polish Contemporary Architecture is and will contribute to the discussion on it.
  • Curator:
  • Magdalena Maciąg
  • Substantial Curators:
  • Ivan Blasi
  • Ewa Porębska
  • Marcin Szczelina
  • Hubert Trammer
  • Exhibition design:
  • mut_pracownia architektury
  • Identification and graphic design:
  • Katarzyna Maciag
  • Production and promocional cooperation:
  • Zodiak: Anna Brzezińska-Czerska, Katarzyna Sałbut, Artur Wosz, Katarzyna Zachara

Exhibition reopening: 14 October 2021


In these times of uncertainty, we are wondering what lies ahead of us.
When planning Warsaw’s spatial development, we have an opportunity to influence our future. We present to you a unique exhibition – a report on Warsaw Master Plan work.


From the very beginning this core document, guiding our city’s future spatial development, has been prepared in dialogue with experts and residents. At the request stage, we received almost 25,000 opinions! To get Varsovians involved in discussing the city’s spatial future, we also issued a series of publications and organised a number of meetings under the headline “Warsaw Planning Reports”.


This exhibition displays the key topics addressed in the reports and goes a step forward to present the assumptions for the New Master Plan and to put them to public consultation. We focus on issues of prime importance for Warsaw’s sustainable future. We provide data about demographics and the condition of the capital’s natural environment. We also look at Warsaw’s identity, its localness and ways to navigate the city. We present the assumptions for the New Master Plan that answer the following questions:


How to develop Warsaw?
How to create a resilient ecosystem of the city?
How to create an attractive landscape?
How to introduce localness?
Our answers draw on the insights gained and analyses performed while working on the New Master Plan.
Displayed at the exhibition are more than 100 maps, charts, diagrams and illustrations showing the challenges faced by Warsaw from different perspectives. Having this knowledge, we could come up with a plan for the future. These are the assumptions for the New Master Plan. We present them at this exhibition and look forward to your feedback. We will consider all this feedback when preparing the final plan for Warsaw’s spatial development.
More information about the New Master Plan will be available from 2 June on: www.architektura.um.warszawa.pl

 

  • The figure of Zbigniew Karpiński epitomizes the changes in
    Polish architecture during the twentieth century. Born and
    raised in a family whose tradition had been rooted in the
    nineteenth century, he obtained comprehensive architectural
    education and professional experience before World War II.
    Since his studies, he had belonged in the community of European
    architects and took part in international architectural congresses.
  • Karpiński was an architect with European aspirations and experience.
    He was a European architect, and even his works from the period of
    socialist realism (Metaleksport designed with Tadeusz Zieliński,
    or the Polish embassy in Beijing with Jerzy Kowarski) fell in the
    functionalist trend of interwar architecture rather than being
    “socialist in content and national form”.
  • This also applies to the East Wall – Karpiński’s life’s work.
    After years of rebuilding the town from the ashes,followed
    by socialist realist enslavement, it became possible to design
    the most important part of the capital, in line with global trends at the time.
    Knowledge of the contemporary thoughts and plans by architects of England,
    Germany and Scandinavia, whose achievements he appreciated the most,
    resulted in an innovative concept.The urban space had been divided into two zones:
    the lower – service zones along the communication artery, and the upper –
    the residential buildings. They were connected by a long pedestrian passage
    with access to shopping and dining. Zbigniew Karpiński and his team drafted
    this model modernist solution with great talent and elegance.
    The compositional refinement, the elegance of forms, and their appropriateness
    or decorum – as Giambattista Lodoli would have it – seem to indicate
    that this architecture truly belongs among European heritage.
  • The association of the East Wall architecture with the neoclassical
    theorists is not accidental. Thinking about society in terms of freedom,
    openness, appropriateness, that is, different from the narrow doctrine
    of communist “ignoramuses”, had something of the “sympathetic determinism”
    (after Rykwert) of Neoclassicists. Transforming space in this spirit no longer
    involved a threat of prosecution, as it had done during the times of socialist
    realism – although attempts to transform society still carried that risk.
  • In another dimension, the free, humanistic European thought informed
    the sons of Zbigniew Karpiński. Also in this respect – independence of feeling
    and thinking, contrary to the requirements of the communist authorities –
    Zbigniew Karpiński (and his sons whom he brought up in this vein) can be perceived
    as an emblem of the independent and European quality of Warsaw. It is for good
    reason that Warsaw’s modern architecture enjoyed the support of such figures
    as Leopold Tyrmand and Stefan Kisielewski. The East Wall is certainly
    the most notableexample, and a symbol of such European architecture in Poland.
  • Incidentally, it may be worth noting how much expectations in relation to
    Warsaw’s “European” architecture have changed – after the dramatic
    experiences of the total destruction of the capital during World War II
    and the so-called reconstruction – and not only the expectations
    of architects, the society’s elite, but probably also of the “common people”.
    Extremely multifunctional, beautiful, and rich in values and meanings,
    the pre-war buildings in the quarter between Marszałkowska, Aleje Jerozolimskie
    and Świętokrzyska streets, which made up a wonderful city space, were replaced
    with their modern antithesis – a surrogate, which nevertheless seemed to
    delight the residents of Warsaw.
Zdjęcie wystawy w pawilonie

This year the Atlantic Cinema is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its founding. It is the oldest still functioning Warsaw cinema. The ZODIAK Warsaw Pavilion of Architecture feature a special exhibition devoted to cinema buildings – “A Cut of Cinema!” (Polish: “Przekrój kino!”).

Its aim is to present the architectural transitions of local cinemas in the context of the changing needs and expectations of audiences, reflecting social, economic and technological processes. The Pavilion’s space is divided into few thematic areas, including the Atlantic and Iluzjon Cinemas, and the no longer existing Skarpa Cinema, providing the leading motives of each cinema.
On display there are sectional views, floor plans and photographs, with subtle neon light creating a unique atmosphere resembling that of a cinema room.

The accompanying events programme includes cinema history lectures and meetings devoted to architectural issues and national film-making. All events are streamed online on our YouTube channel: tiny.pl/77dcb.

The exhibition is organised by the City of Warsaw.

Exhibition partners:
Oddział Warszawski Stowarzyszenia Architektów Polskich, Centrum Kultury Filmowej im. Andrzeja Wajdy, Kino Atlantic, Kino Iluzjon, Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny, Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Muzeum Neonów, W małym kinie

Media partners:
Aktivist, ARCH, Architektura i Biznes, Architektura Murator, Autoportret, Bryła.pl, Warszawski Magazyn Ilustrowany Stolica

Zdjęcie wystawy w pawilonie

Post-war architecture in the former state-socialist countries has recently become a prominent topic. For a long time it was viewed by the public in a dubious light and against the backdrop of the often bleak personal memories of and lives impacted by the communist regime. Recent expert studies and activities aimed at public education have, however, revealed that the architecture at that time assumed a surprisingly diverse array of forms and that there existed in the region a parallel course of development that anchors the former Eastern bloc within the wider frame of the history of world architecture. The ICONIC RUINS? exhibition thus focuses primarily on politically prominent public investment projects and looks at where the ambitions of power and the creative ideas of architects connected and where they clashed.

The rapid demise of this architecture in recent years as a result of dramatic redevelopment and radical demolitions has prompted unprecedented action on the part of the professional community and academic sphere. The exhibition therefore also tracks the current condition of post-war architecture and combines historical comparisons based on Docomomo International’s methodology with student visions for the future use and transformation of such structures, which were developed as part of a project of the same name run by the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Studio of Architecture II, III A3, and the Virtual Studio).

The ICONIC RUINS? exhibition seeks to reveal the parallels to be found in the architecture of the four Visegrad countries’ shared state-socialist past and to initiate a broader discussion of the immediate future of the critically at risk cultural heritage of late modernism. The exhibition is part of a large European project titled Shared Cities: Creative Momentum aimed at mapping the shared history of socialist architecture in Central Europe. The ICONIC RUINS? exhibition was created as part of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum – an international network for creative discourse at the intersection of architecture, art, urbanism and the sharing economy. From 2016 to 2020, Shared Cities is bringing together eleven partners from seven major European cities (Belgrade, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Katowice, Prague and Warsaw) with the ambition of showing urban citizens that their participation and cooperation is essential for creating a pleasant and valuable urban environment. The project Shared Cities: Creative Momentum is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Czech Centres are a contributory organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, established to promote the Czech Republic abroad. The network of Czech Centres abroad is an active tool of the foreign policy of the Czech Republic in the area of public diplomacy.

Wernisaż

But why construct more monuments? And who needs another exhibition about them? Aren’t monuments obsolete? And most of all: in light of all the conflicts erupting over monuments, shouldn’t we discard this medium once and for all?

It seems that we can’t just give up on them – the stake is too high. These public media of memory are just as much about the present and about the conceivable futures, as they are about the past. They are just as much about visualizing a set of desirable social roles, ways of understanding the public sphere, power and community, as they are about canonizing a set of heroes, values, and historical events. Paradoxically, in an age dominated by uncountable, elusive and free-floating images, these heavy, static elements of the urban landscape still have the capability of generating strong emotions, of gaining new meanings and unexpected agency.

It is then not only the ‘content’ of monuments that is important, but also their forms. Pedestals, bronze, enormous figures are ways of establishing a relation between the public and history. They don’t leave much space for dialogue, coercing us into consent and acceptance. A past, represented by static, unattainable stone figures, is in many ways supposed to be just like them – unambiguous, individualistic, authoritative. It’s a history supposedly shaped by outstanding, unwavering heroes and breakthrough events. That is why it would not be enough to use the form of the traditional monument to memorialize even the most progressive and revolutionary male and female heroes, who fought in the name of emancipatory values. The available pedestals and mold structures will simply not accommodate subjects and phenomena from outside of the traditional canon. Subjects (or rather communities) and events (or rather processes) that have hitherto not been represented in the monumental canon need formulas corresponding to their qualities.

Monument prototypes
Karolina Brzuzan, Róża Duda i Michał Soja, Piotr Łakomy, Olga Micińska, Dominika Olszowy, Daniel Rycharski, Łukasz Surowiec.

Exhibition
Józef Gałązka, Karolina Gołębiowska, Daniel Malone i Stanisław Welbel, Gizela Mickiewicz, Jan Możdżyński, Franciszek Orłowski, Witek Orski, Krzysztof Pijarski, Liliana Piskorska, Aleka Polis, Alicja Rogalska, Szymon Rogiński, Daniel Rumiancew, Anna Shimomura, Łukasz Skąpski, Zbiorowy Collective.

Curators
Łukasz Zaremba, Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw / Szymon Maliborski, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Project management
Joanna Turek

Production
Maja Szybińska, Joanna Turek, Zofia Zajkowska

Exhibition Architecture
Aleksander Wadas Studio: Weronika Marek, Anna Odulińska, Aleksander Wadas

Detailed design of monuments
Magdalena Romanowska

Key visual and graphic design
Edgar Bąk Studio

Collaborators of research teams
Social research team managed by Maja Głowacka and Zofia Sikorska; research team: Katarzyna Bartosik, Anna Gańko, Bartłomiej Jankowski, Ludmiła Kruszewska, Alexandra Senn, Krzysztof Średziński

Monument Research Team of the Department of Landscape Art at SGGW, managed by doctor ingeneer Kinga Rybak-Niedziółka; research team: dr inż. Anna Długozima, dr inż. Ewa Kociacka-Beck, dr inż. Izabela Myszka, mgr Daria Szarejko, mgr Rafał Myszka oraz Mateusz Wieczorek

Editing and proofreading
Justyna Chmielewska, Kacha Szaniawska

Translations
Mohamed Mahmoud, Anna Marciniak, Magda Szcześniak, Agnes Monod-Gayraud

Production of set design elements
Studio Robot (Krzysztof Czajka, Łukasz Wysoczyński)

Realization
Jakub Antosz, Marek Franczak, Piotr Frysztak, Szymon Ignatowicz, Artur Jeziorek, Paweł Sobczak, Marcin Szubiak, Michał Ziętek

Promotion
Paweł Brylski, Kacha Szaniawska, Iga Winczakiewicz, Magdalena Zięba-Grodzka

Educational program
Dominika Jagiełło, Marta Przasnek, Marta Przybył, Katarzyna Witt, Zespół Użyj Muzeum

Photo documentation
Daniel Chrobak

Cooperation
Paweł Bojemski, Kinga Cieplińska, Joanna Kasperowska, Jerzy Klonowski, Agnieszka Kosela, Andrzej Kowalski, Krakowski Chór Rewolucyjny, Katarzyna Król, Anna Nagadowska, Dagmara Rykalska, Katarzyna Sałbut, Igor Szulc, Daniel Woźniak, Artur Wosz, Piotr Wójcik, Katarzyna Zachara, Szymon Żydek

Acknowledgements

  • Aldona Machnowska-Góra, Dyrektor koordynator ds. kultury i polityki społecznej Biura Kultury m.st. Warszawy
  • Hanna Jakubowicz, Dyrektor Zarządu Mienia m.st. Warszawy
  • Anna Brzezińska-Czerska, Monika Komorowska, Biuro Architektury i Planowania Przestrzennego Urzędu m.st. Warszawy
  • Arkadiusz Pawlak, Małgorzata Smoktunowicz, Biuro Rozwoju Gospodarczego Urzędu m.st. Warszawy

and
Olga Bilewicz, Philomène Dupleix (Villa Arson, Nicea),Tomasz Fudala, Bartłomiej Gowin (Gowin & Siuta Sp.j.), Bartek Górka, Mateusz Halawa, Julia Kern, Kinga Kurysia, Éric Mangion (Villa Arson, Nicea), Michał Pospiszyl, Olga Rosłoń-Skalińska (Zarząd Zieleni m.st.Warszawy), Jacek Sosnowski, Klaudia Podsiadło, Adam Przywara, Marcus Seidner, Szymon Sławiec, Magda Szcześniak, Marek Szołtun (Szołtun Kamieniarstwo), Marta Wódz, Adrian Zatorski (ZAB-BUD), Agnieszka Żuk.

More information on the 11th edition of the Warsaw under Constuction festival website.