Warsaw is presently a city under a considerable pressure for change. A stark political system change and an enormous economic spurt have given prominence to private initiatives, leaving behind several public spaces and relevant buildings at the will of speculative developers. Out of these, Warszawianka – by its privileged location in the green backbone of the city – is symptomatic of the types of privatization pressures the plots with these characteristics are presently undergoing.
This public sports complex is presently facing an unknown future, some of its more public functions are being commercialized and its architectural shape is being lost in the process. This competition attempted to revitalize this particularly relevant example of Polish architecture history, restoring its former dignity and role in public life. With wide polish participation, this issue gained national notoriety; from an architecture standing point, it will certainly foment the discussion of how to handle with the architecture heritage while being sensitive to public needs.
Some of the proposals found poetry in the wild present state; some others defended a critical preservation of the original concepts. One general issue was the difficulty felt in controlling the overall site; some proposals were fractured in different moments, sometimes lacking one big innovative approach. All presented projects understood the added value of connecting this park to the wider green structure of the city and aimed to bring about new uses and new users to this overlooked space of the city.
The more successful schemes have provided guidelines that allow for flexibility in use, anticipating future needs and preventing its obsolescence. Understanding the architecture profession as a shaper of reality, some proposals have even provided a working framework of possibilities that go beyond those defined by the architectural object. Privileged by the Jury were the proposals that included a high degree of reality and feasibility all the while respecting the more positive points of the original project by Jerzy Soltan.
FIRST PRIZE AWARD | “Body, Time & Gravity”
by Grzegorz Gadek, Jakub Szczesny, Malgorzata Kuciewicz, Natalia Kowalska and Simone De Iacobis, from CENTRALA + Skwer Sportów Miejskich from Warsaw, Poland
From the Jury: “Warszawianka has been dormant for too long, it still has not fulfilled entirely its mission. This was clearly the premise out of which this proposal has departed.The winning entry of this competition was praised by its clear understanding of the objective of each of the different natural and architectural elements in the overall context. The strongest value noted is the rational analysis of the original project and transposition of its inherent intentions to the present day needs.”
SECOND PRIZE AWARD
| “The Archeology of Modernism”
by Patrycja Dylag, Kacper Karpinski, Jan Przedpelski and Helena Wawrzeniuk, from Warsaw, Poland
THIRD PRIZE AWARD
by Aleksandra Gryc and Weronika Marek from Kraków, Poland
For the overall awarded proposals, check http://www.ctrl-space.net/warsaw.html