Warsaw is currently under the debate on how to arrange “proper” public spaces so that they are defined, accessible for everyone and that they respond to the needs of local communities. The challenge we are facing is to apply world standards and good practices of contributing to the appearance of the city.We supplement the process of transformation with the search for an innovatory programme for urban space.
During the workshops we were considering, which of the forgotten functions of the city are worth restoring, which phenomena deserve protection (venues of ambiguous situations or unofficial gatherings). We examined models still unknown in Warsaw (such as hybrid spaces, conflict spaces of productive exchange – outdoor venues of debate or education). The discussion on public interiors co-modification and the possibility to create non-profit indoor spaces was of a vital importance. We pondered on how nontraditional, changeable functional systems can provoke unconventional behaviours and on the ways how premises without permanent programme of events can function. The workshops were attended by people interested in the city but, except for the workshop leaders, no one in the group had worked in the fields connected with architecture.
Thus, during our meetings we focused on theoretical discussions, gathering ideas, illustrating dreams and matching unobvious solutions, which we gathered in a Public Functions Album, created to facilitate our work.
We decided to focus our deliberations on an element of Warsaw which, so far, has remained unnoticed – a 352-metre-long relic located along Królewska Street – the remains of a park fence (to provide a reference point: the Palace of Culture and Science is 231 metre high).
The underpinning of the former fence can serve as the underpinning for new objects / functions in urban space. It can be food for thoughts about the utilisation not only of concentric areas in the city, such as squares, but also of the linear systems. Instead of taking up the discussion whether to redesign the Saxon Garden, whether to fence it and reconstruct the pre-war fencing, we would like to present that, using temporary objects, such as simple plywood forms, we can alter the city’s “logic” for a few seasons. The wall near the Saxon Garden can become a connection between the two most popular pedestrian ways in Warsaw – the Royal Route and Marszałkowska Street.
concept: Małgorzata Kuciewicz
The workshop led by Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Sebastian Bałut (590 architekci) was supposed to serve as an introduction to prototype the elements of the public space of the future – the results of the meetings were reinterpreted into forms by architects from the Centrala group – Fabio Campana and Francesco Ronconi. The solutions proposed by them constitute an integral part of the workshops’ results.
Exhibition: Association of Polish Architects SARP, Foksal 2, Warsaw