This sculptural memorial by SO/AP Architectes, located at the center of what was the Warsaw Ghetto, commemorates the history and memories of the Polish nation by uniting its oppressive and heroic pasts in one form. Simultaneously representing the Jewish and non-Jewish population, the serpentine structure symbolizes the entirety of the Polish people to strengthen their identity as one collective community.
A professor of economics, Sixten Korkman has chosen Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects‘ Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as the winner of the inaugural Finlandia Prize for Architecture. The unconventional award, whose intent is to “increase public awareness of high quality Finnish architecture and highlights its benefits for our well-being,” enlisted a group of renowned architects to shortlist the finalists before “layman” Korkman selected the winner as an unbiased representative of the public who valued the building for the way it made him “feel.”
“The idea behind the prize undoubtedly resonates with me. In economics one talks about public goods and externalities, and the built environment is precisely these,” stated Korkman after announcing his decision.
“Whether the buildings are in private or public ownership is of no significance. We all see the architecture, experience the architecture, and architecture affects us all. Architecture undoubtedly affects our well-being and comfort: our built environment is our extended living room. In architecture there is also an egalitarian element. Fortunately the sun still shines for both poor and rich. Our built environment exists for us all.”
More about the winning building, after the break.
Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded its 2014 Mayors Challenge to Barcelona, selecting its plan to deal with the problems of an ageing population over the proposals of 20 other European cities shortlisted earlier this year. The award, developed to promote the most creative and transferable solutions to intractable social problems such as public health, unemployment and transportation, carries a €5 million prize for Barcelona to put toward implementing the plan. In addition, four runners-up – Athens, Kirklees, Stockholm and Warsaw - will also receive €1 million each for their own plans.
“To meet the biggest challenges of the 21st century, city leaders must think creatively and be unafraid to try new things – and the Mayors Challenge is designed to help them do that,” said Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Read on after the break to learn more about the proposals of Barcelona and the four runners-up
The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that Thomas Phifer and Partners will be designing their new gallery space, after winning a competition against eleven other selected practices. The new museum, the largest cultural project in recent Polish history, will also house the TR Warsawa Theatre. The proposal consists of two separate buildings housing the theater and museum, joined by a common forum that will serve both as entrance and public multi-use space.
Architects: Biuro Architektoniczne Barycz & Saramowicz
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Architects In Charge: Rafal Barycz, Pawel Saramowicz
Area: 470.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Biuro Architektoniczne Barycz & Saramowicz
Poland-based GowinSiuta Studio has won “Changing the Face 2013 Rotunda Warsaw,” an annual design competition (now in its 13th year) to revamp the “sawtooth-topped Rotunda, a favorite landmark and meeting spot in central Warsaw.” Alongside being awarded the $15,500 prize money, the practice also plans to see their proposal realized by 2015. The studio’s proposal, entitled Modern Urban Oasis / Warsaw City Lounge, transforms the Rotunda into an integral part of a public square.
A team consisting of Mecanoo, Michael van Gessel, Delva Landscape Architects and Jojko Nawrocki Architekci has won a competition to design the Royal Lazienki Museum in Poland’s capital. The 1,800 square meter museum will be buried beneath a triangular, 2.5 hectare “Garden of the 21st Century” in Lazienki Park, one of Warsaw’s most popular cultural destinations. Michael van Gessel and Delva Landscape Architects will focus on the garden, while Mecanoo leads the museum’s design.
Would you ever want live in the Keret House - the world’s skinniest dwelling - in Warsaw, Poland? Well, now’s your chance. The Polish Modern Art Foundation has announced an open call for resident applications to artists (under age 35) practicing in the fields of architecture, visual arts, literature, music or film. If selected, artists will have the opportunity to live in the Keret House for up to 21 days to realize a project of their own design. The residency aims to foster individual artistic expression, promote creative exchange, and expose artists to the cultural environment of Poland while offering them the chance to experience what many believe to be an “impossible architecture.” See if you are eligible to apply here.
The proposal by Moko Architects for the Diving and Indoor Skydiving Center restores a part of a house factory in Żerań which operated in the past,. They turn a building in a non-developed area with abandoned halls and warehouses into a recreation center open all year round in the old silos where bulk cement used to be stored in the past. The existing facility is a perfect base for this investment and will be the only place in Poland where people wishing to learn the skills of diving will have the opportunity to safely train at the depth of 25m under control. More images and architects’ description after the break.