Recent years have prompted a rediscovery and a re-framing of some of the more controversial architectural phenomenons of the past century, with Brutalist architecture coagulating significant interest through its sheer scale, powerful expression and purist forms. Brutalist architecture across the former Eastern Bloc is inextricably associated with the totalitarian regimes that marked the history of this part of Europe during the last half of the 20th century. Following in line with the architecture of the Eastern Bloc, Poland’s urban landscape is dotted with large-scale prefab housing estates and stark brutalist public buildings constructed during the country’s Communist rule.
Krakow: The Latest Architecture and News
Among 78 international participants, Heinle, Wischer und Partner won the first prize in the design competition for the new building of the Stanisław Wyspiański Museum in Krakow, Poland. The project will be built, in the middle of the museum district of the city and next to the historic National Museum.
To strip a city of its architecture is to erase its history altogether. Despite a widespread public distaste for Brutalism, the brutalist era in architecture often went hand in hand with political movements promising an egalitarian vision in post-Stalinist Poland. What may now be considered austere and overbearing was originally intended to be anything but; the buildings today carry both an appreciation for their legacy and the burden of unwanted memories.
In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Akash Kapur documents his visit to Poland, bringing readers into his experiences and observations of this complex response to Polish architecture. From sharing its history to short anecdotes from interviews, the piece postulates whether these relics can become alive again.
London-based AIM STUDIO’s entry for the Małopolska Science Center in Krakow, Poland, was recently awarded second place. Responding to the competition's call for an iconic design for the center, the team proposed a structure that creates a new landmark which blurs the boundaries between landscape and building, while also taking into consideration the important historical context of the site.
Read about more their proposal after the break.
Heinle, Wischer und Partner's design for a triangular shaped building has been awarded first place in a competition to design the Małopolska Science Center in Krakow, Poland. The competition brief, which called for a design which would be both iconic and innovative, was responded with a proposal by the team that creates a new landmark for the Malopolska region of Poland.
Read about their winning design after the break.
OVO Grąbczewscy Architekci's stacked garden-like proposal has been awarded third place in a competition for the new Małopolska Science Center in Krakow, Poland. The competition brief asked for the design of an innovative cultural institution with an iconic architectural form that would represent creativity, openness and independent thinking. As a reflection of both the city and the region, the center is also intended to provide a model for sustainable construction, energy efficiency, and education that inspires immersive visitor engagement.
See the complete design below.
FAAB Architektura has designed a smog-fighting music academy on the site of a former military base in Cracow, Poland. In a city constantly tackling air pollution, FAAB has incorporated a 1300 square meter "Air Purifier" into their proposal, combating CO2 levels as effectively as 33,000 city trees. This system, however, is only one element in a music academy wholly integrated with its natural surroundings.
The winning proposal has just been announced for an extension to the Bunkier Sztuki ("Bunker of Arts") contemporary art gallery in Cracow, Poland. Out of 33 entries in the international competition, the underground design by Robert Konieczny - KWK Promes has been selected to be executed in the heart of Cracow's Old Town.
Bee Breeders has announced the winner of the Krakow Oxygen Home competition, which asked designers to reconsider contemporary architectural conventions with respect to current cultural and global issues in the city of Krakow, Poland. Due to the large number of coal-burning furnaces in the city, residents of Krakow are threatened by air pollution, which has resulted in a sky-rocketing number of cases of asthma, lung disease, and lung cancer. The competition brief called for the “design of a care center for lung cancer patients as part of the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology.”