All change: Historic Kraków’s quaint street carts to get slick make over

Old versus new: The traditional blue carts will be replaced by trendier new designs. Public domain / Press materials

A classic Kraków street cart selling traditional local food has gone for a major facelift.

Decked in obwarzanki (a type of bagel pronounced ob-var-zanki), the blue street carts located around the city’s historical centre are a Kraków design classic – much like the braided ring-shaped breads themselves.

But now the city is preparing to break with tradition and go for a souped-up version.  

Applicants were asked to design two versions, a cart for obwarzanki and another for souvenirs, including pictures, cross-sections and a technical description.

Of the 36 designs submitted, five made it into the second round. Despite sharing the same function, the carts were very different in style, from an elegant steel trolley to heavier constructions.

Two winning designs were chosen, taking joint second place: by Jakub Gołębiewski and Daniel Suchocki.

Of the 36 designs submitted, five made it into the second round. Despite sharing the same function, the carts were very different in style, from an elegant steel trolley to heavier constructions.Press materials

Gołębiewski’s cart looks like a small black hut with a pointed roof, with walls made of powder-coated steel. It has a built-in seat and storage options.

Suchocki’s cart is made from light-coloured waterproof plywood. Obwarzanki hang in neat rows beneath the counter. 

The cart has wooden shutters – one with a short text on history in Polish and English, and the listing the types of obwarzanki and the ingredients used. 

His souvenir cart has the same aesthetic, but with more cubbyholes to hold items.

The design is “economical and ecological” and can easily be repeated, Suchocki highlights. 

A small solar panel provides electricity for lighting and enables the vendor to charge his or her phone.  

Prototypes of the two designs will now be tested by the local vendors’ association as part of a pilot programme that runs until February. 

If they are deemed functional, the new carts will be introduced in Kraków’s historical centre.