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

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.

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.

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A modern school for children and city residents, circular buildings, sustainable social housing or temporary urban spaces integrating citizens and forming the identity of a new district, are just some of the ambitious city development and architectural projects located in various parts of Central Denmark Region and presented at the exhibition Future Living.

The exhibition investigates the challenges we are facing globally and explores new opportunities for the sustainable development of our future – in Denmark and throughout Europe.

Future Living addresses several of the UN’s 17 global goals for sustainable development, where urbanisation, climate and welfare are identified as some of the major global challenges.

Through in-depth insights of specific projects, this exhibition shows how cities and rural areas are rethinked today to solve the challenges of tomorrow. Within the themes of sustainable cities & communities, welfare and education and climate change adaption, the projects will give examples of how we can rethink the future and contribute to the sustainable development of our society.

Future Living is an international exhibition developed as part of Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017. Its aim is to invite cities and citizens around Europe to discuss and to create ideas and solutions on our common future. Warsaw is the first stop on its international tour.

In Poland, the exhibition will be presented at the newly opened ZODIAK Warsaw Pavilion of Architecture (8.03-26.05.2019) and Bałtyk/Concordia Design in Poznań (June-August 2019).

The exhibition is curated by Rising Culture and Business/Denmark and developed in cooperation with the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark and the Danish Cultural Institute in Poland.

Co-operation: The Capital City of Warsaw, the Warsaw Branch of the Association of Polish Architects and Concordia Design in Poznań.

The exhibition is financially supported by the Municipality of Aarhus, Central Denmark Region, Foundation of Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017, the Danish foundations: Dreyers Fond and Boligfonden Kuben as well as the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Ministry of Culture within the programme of cultural cooperation and dialogue between Denmark and Poland: Polen-Satsningen 2018-2020.

 

Futurama Warsaw is an exhibition about the spatial potential of Warsaw and the potential of Warsaw architects. The introduction to the exhibition is a map of the Warsaw land reserves, or “dormant” areas that may in the future serve the implementation of various types of investment plans ranging from transport infrastructure through green and sports areas up to architectural developments.

The curator of the exhibition, architect Jakub Szczęsny, proposed to eight Warsaw architectural studios to interpret the potentials dormant in the Millennium Route. Its originator was Mayor Stefan Starzyński, however the route has never been created.

Today, due to the development of the city, the concept of merging Praga Północ and Praga Południe districts becomes relevant again.

ZODIAK
Based on the Zodiac, the astrological tradition of reading the future from the position of celestial bodies dates back to time immemorial and intrigues many to this day. Who has never looked at the horoscope section of a magazine in search of answers to what the future might hold? While neither architecture nor astrology are regarded as scientific disciplines, both draw on science and both disarm the more critical minds with their the desire to enchant the future and enthral anyone hungry for knowledge about what is to come. Astrologers offer recipes for winning a spouse or a fortune, while architects create visions of a better future. For the public, the most recognizable expression of these visions are the computer-generated visualizations of architectural projects, always depicting the happy residents of buildings surrounded by paradise-like gardens situated beneath the gracious and tranquil, eternally blue sky. Among both architects and astrologers, one can encounter people truly dedicated to bringing a better life to others and scheming cynics shamelessly exploiting human naivety.

FUTURAMA
One such attempt to enchant the future was — to some extent — the Futurama, one of the most important elements of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Created by the American designer Norman Bel Geddes, Futurama — the main part of which was an enormous mechanized model of a future city — showed how America could look twenty years later. The unfulfilled visions of flying cars — later depicted in popular culture, from The Jetsons and Blade Runner to the animated series of the same title — were joined by quite realistic inventions, such as the automated motorways prototyped in the 1960s by General Motors (the exhibition’s sponsor) and, popular since the 1970s, ‘urban malls’, i.e. city zones featuring a complete separation of pedestrian and car traffic. The exhibition has become a breeding ground for radical modernist reformers, including Robert Moses, the ‘master builder’ of New York City, whose missteps (e.g. the Cross-Bronx Expressway, cutting through the neighbourhood) and achievements (e.g. extending the acreage of city parks) still affect the lives of Great Apple’s citizens.

WARSAW
Although at first glance the history of Warsaw does not abound in utopian social ideas or unrealistic technological visions, the Archigrest group’s Time Machine brings us closer to a number of already forgotten, surprising architectural projects. The installation also shows how specific taxonomies of ideas, such as the triumphal arches or the Temple of [Divine] Providence, have come back at different points in Warsaw’s history, often appearing and disappearing for several decades. One could say that Warsaw’s pre- and post-war architects generally did not make attempts at imagining reality on any abstract temporal scale, as in the visions presented during the exhibitions of impossible architecture, Terra 1 and Terra 2 in Wrocław. They had to respond to present-day problems, the time horizon for which were celebrations such as The Six Year Plan or other, often unrealistic deadlines for the delivery of flats, schools, green area pavilions, or department stores for the capital’s Internal Trade Company, of which there was always a shortage. Since the beginning of the 20th century, architects and planners have been confronted with the limiting reality that required pragmatic solutions disallowing any excessive recourse to fantasy. And yet we owe the green aeration corridors, the reconstruction of the Old Town, the no longer existing urban icons, Supersam and the Chemia Pavilion, and the holistically designed housing estates, from Żoliborz to Ursynów, to their vision, ambition and almost superhuman perseverance. Here, it is worth turning to the Time Machine again — many of the unrealised, yet far-reaching plans were ‘enchanted’ in the form of urban records. These include the 200 metres height limit for buildings in parts of the Śródmieście district — introduces by Mayor Stefan Starzyński, and still in force today — or the inclusion in local plans of many roads and routes that have not yet been completed, and which make up the map of land reserves. We bring this subject closer within the framework of our exhibition, a part of which is:

THE MILLENNIUM ROUTE [TRASA TYSIĄCLECIA]
According to Mayor Stefan Starzyński, the Route and Tysiąclecia Street were to be the modern backbone connecting Praga Południe and Praga Północ, parallel to Towarowa Street and the road running along the former Jabłonowska Railway (which today is the Wał Miedzeszyński-Szczecińskie Embankment- Helskie Embankment, sequence of streets that comes to an abrupt end). According to post-war urban planners, they were supposed to provide a collision-free route from the Miedzeszyński Embankment to the today’s Żaba Roundabout by crossing two railway lines, Skaryszewski Park, several large housing estates and the mostly historic buildings of Kamionek. Both the Millennium Route and Tysiąclecia Street appeared in a number of subsequent urban studies and investment plans, including the list of priorities for EURO 2012, but to this day, both of them remain unrealised, although they were included in the next Local Planning documents and in 2018 the City Hall managed to obtain funds for the construction of a tram line running along the Międzynarodowa Street and the allotment gardens that would to connect Gocław with Waszyngtona Avenue. The future shape of the route remains unknown, leaving plenty of room for imagination.

ARCHITECTS
This is why we decided to treat the MILLENNIUM ROUTE/TRASA TYSIĄCLECIA as a pretext to speak about the future, covering not only how our space (landscape, architecture, infrastructure) will look like, but above all how — hypothetically speaking — we will live tomorrow or in a few decades. We have invited eight architect teams, differing in their interests and ways of working, as well as the duration of their practice and often radically dissimilar professional experiences. What they do have in common is an intellectual openness, healthy criticism, good sense of humour and the desire to undertake a risky experiment — namely, a journey into the future. (These are all features, we believe, all creatives including architects should possess.) We gave the teams a complete freedom in defining the scope of their project, the selection of topics, and means of expression. For comments on the Millennium Route we also asked the urban planners: prof. Krzysztof Domaradzki, whose studio has developed the local development plan of the Route and Prof Sławomir Gzell, whose students at the Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology have worked on this subject and created a series of films, also presented at the exhibition. Zodiak, Warsaw Architecture Pavilion will also have room for Stół Architekta/The Architect’s Table, designed by Maciej Siuda in collaboration with Michał Jońca, including their personal manifesto about the Route.

We believe that Zodiak will become a space where Warsaw residents, visitors and architects will be able to see interesting, important, and good architecture and as well as all related phenomena. We also hope that Zodiak will become a meeting place for various groups of architects, students, city activists, and representatives of professions that deal with the shaping of urban space. However, it is also important for us to show the meaningful potential of architects and how much they can offer us — not only as professionals and sometimes artists, but ALWAYS as IMPORTANT PARTNERS in shaping the future.

Wszystko co wokół nas, jest zaprojektowane.
To punkt wyjścia pierwszych działań inicjujących działalność Warszawskiego Pawilonu Architektury Zodiak na rok przed otwarciem jego siedziby – Pawilonu Zodiak przy Pasażu Wiecha w Warszawie.
Będziemy się zastanawiać nad własną rolą, jako mieszkańców miast, w możliwości projektowania i wpływania na przestrzeń, która nas otacza, porozmawiamy też o idei miasta wspólnego w kontekście jego zrównoważonego rozwoju oraz o roli, jaką w tym procesie pełnią niezależne pawilony i centra architektury, na przykładzie Amsterdamu, Budapesztu czy Kopenhagi.
Jesienny program „Do zobaczenia za rok w Zodiaku” składa się z trzech, uzupełniających się komponentów: są to działania artystyczne w przestrzeni miejskiej, edukacyjne warsztaty architektoniczne dla dzieci i rodziców oraz działania eksperckie z udziałem gości z zagranicznych pawilonów architektury. Na wszystkie wydarzenia wstęp jest wolny.
Wydarzenia realizowane są w ramach projektu „ZODIAK na Foksal”, który został dofinansowany ze środków Narodowego Centrum Kultury w ramach Programu Kultura – Interwencje 2017.
Projekt współfinansuje m.st. Warszawa.