Spectacular or controversial? How architects see Warsaw’s historic Piłsudskiego Square looking 100 years from now
Two architect studios FAAB and Science Now have revealed their vision of how Warsaw’s Piłsudskiego Square will look in 2118.
The anniversary of Poland regaining independence was the starting point for their creative process on how the capital city should evolve in to the next century.
The result is a visualisation of Piłsudskiego Square which combines historical elements with modern technology, art and environmental awareness.
FAAB and New Science’s project was unveiled on November 11th, Polish Independence day and published internationally on the Arch Daily website.
FAAB wrote on Facebook: “FAAB was preparing 8 months for the Independence Day, which falls on November 11.
“Together with Science Now, we have developed Project Poland 2118, which combines past, present and future. Project Poland 2118 aims to involve people with different interests, views and sensitivities.
“The interpenetration of history, art, design and science will be a catalyst for the beginnings of revolutionary and innovative ideas and solutions. (...)
“Sidewalks producing electricity, rainwater retention, parking for bicycles for 15,000 two-wheelers are just some of the pro-ecological solutions. And with all this much needed expansion of Zachęta [Museum of Modern Art]!”
The architects’ concept for one of Warsaw’s historically crucial and largest squares draws inspiration from its turbulent past, and represents the different periods of Poland’s history.
The Saxon Palace, destroyed during Second World War stood there (the only remaining arch of the palace houses the Tomb of Unknown Soldier), as until 1926 did the orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Called Victory Square under Communism, it was the location of the open holy mass led by John Paul II during his first visit to Poland as a newly chosen Pope in 1979.
FAAB commented on Facebook: “In March of this year, we worked intensively on selecting a concept for further development. Many discussions, considerations for and against were had. Some radical ideas and others a little less. Finally, we chose a variant that respects the historic building lines and the height of the buildings destroyed during World War II”.
The new vision for Piłsudskiego square incorporates its already existing structures, such as the Zachęta Museum, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Saski Park into a green area with museums and recreational areas.
This ‘urban spa’ takes into account the need for fresh air in growing metropolis, ensuring space for aroma therapies and helio-therapies. Limited traffic and 30km/h speed limit would also be instated, to create and oasis within the bustling city centre.
In addition, the architects want to create a museum underneath the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, to explore is history and meaning.
Together with Europe’s largest cycle park, rainwater harvesting systems and solar energy panels, the entire concept is a blueprint for urban space of the future, which answers its biggest challenges connected to reusing resources, while remaining functional and open for the city’s inhabitants.