When you think of the southern Polish city of Kraków you generally tend to envisage the grand market square and the renaissance architecture which surrounds it.
Bristling with security cameras and surrounded by a solid steel and marble fence with barbed wire, Sobieskiego 100 is just one of several buildings that is occupied by Russia following agreements signed between the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
Set between the city centre and the leafy suburb of Oliwa, till now Wrzeszcz has possibly been better-known as the childhood home of Nobel prize-winning author Günter Grass. However, its patchwork of architectural styles also offer a telling glimpse into the chronology of the city.
The energy that initially seduced me is still there, and if anything has grown all the stronger. Manifesting itself in a raft of top eateries and alternative hangouts, these have been ably complimented by a slew of modern attractions that range from the compelling Emigration Museum to a funicular cable car with vertiginous views of all that’s around.
Decorating the façade of the former Saturn factory in Warsaw’s Wawer district, the work by Domicella Bożekowska and commissioned in 1965 was intended to “introduce contemporary art beyond art galleries, as well as to raise the cultural knowledge of the so-called working class.”
The design of the station’s buildings will include eco-friendly solutions to make the station self-sufficient in energy as well as smog-fighting paving slabs, which will convert toxic exhaust fumes into harmless substances, a wall of air-cleaning plants on the roof of the planned parking and a rainwater collection system.
Marketed as “a virtual compendium of knowledge relating to Gdynia’s architecture”, it is hoped that the exhibition will open the copious glories of Gdynia to a new, wider audience.
In the desolate post-war new order, modernism was supposed to create new narratives of hope: for some, this was eternal freedom, of a New York Art Deco grandeur; for others, a strident Bolshevik equality.
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