A true pearl and a cherry on top of the Warsaw’s modernism. Cubes that distinguish themselves from the main body appear rhythmical and disciplined at the same time. Take your time and walk the few steps down and take a look from a different perspective – you might be surprised how it will impact your perception of the building. Beside the tasteful design, the residents especially value the morning routine of the sun, slowly rising over Vistula river. Situated next to the University of Warsaw Department of Sociology and Hotel Bristol Karowa is a gem often overlooked by tourists hurrying to tick all the tour guide “must sees” off their list . Completed in 1978.
Designed by a team of architects: Henryk Dąbrowski, Jerzy Kuźmienko, Janusz Nowak, Piotr Sembrat and Adam Snopek.
Housing estate behind the Iron Gate
In the place of the once densely built-up pre-war Warsaw Norhtern Downtown, there are now 19 gigantic blocks resembling the “Superunits” from Katowice. Name for this residual area was inspired by the dismantled in 1818 rococo “Iron Gate”. What led to a decision of building nineteen, not exactly state-of-the-art, monstrous blocks in the place of completely demolished pre-war Northern Downtown? The winning project was meant to fulfill Le Colbusier’s dream of leaving „tight, damp, dark, nineteenth-century tenement houses” and create an estate full of space, light and green. The project was chosen because of its monumentality, metropolitanity and „homogeneous treatment of the whole area composition”.
Each block contains three to four hundred apartments with about a thousand residents each. Apparently, due to the savings that socialist system demanded savings every day, there were a lot of cost-cutting initiatives including leaving the useless l bourgeois ideas such as a private toilet or kitchen behind. The estate, despite the reluctance connected with, let’s call it „historical” connotations , has found a high demand among not only the more artistic part of sociality, but also also actors, footballers and intellectuals. Huge, glazed lobbies inside the blocks were designed for hosting the joint initiatives of the residents. Surprisingly, there were none. Palm trees in pots and pieces of furniture units remained a kitschy reminder of those notions. Over the years, the the estate habitat evolved into environment hosting students, retirees and Vietnamese. Built 1965 – 1972.
By the way, any ideas linked to demolishing the estate are impossible as a revolutionary Stolica concrete pouring system was used here, creating blocks into literally concrete monoliths.
Project: Jerzy Czyz, Jan Furman, Andrzej Skopinski.
Smyk Commercial House
Hungarian Trade Exposition
Designed to be t „exhibition pavilion of the Russian technical thought” and erected in the place of a demolished nineteenth century tenement house at 20/22 Belwederska Street, the building became a large bookstore. Nowadays it has become a simple, office building for banks, travel agencies etc.
Built: 1980. Project: Leszek Sołonowicz, Ryszard Lisiewicz, Arkadiusz Starski, and Włodzimierz Kaczmarczyk.
In the past times ironically called the „generals hat”, today is one of the favorite meeting places is located at the intersection of the two most important thoroughfares of the city – Jerozolimskie Avenue and Marszałkowska Street. The true pearl of modernism, decorated with a characteristic roof, slightly inclined towards north-east is a part of the Eastern Wall urban complex.
In 1979 took place the most tragic accident of post-war Poland. Gas explosion which took place there in 1979 is considered on of the most trafic accidents of post-war Poland. The explosion taking place during rush hours took lives of 49 people. Rotunda was rebuilt after the explosion, however the abandonment of the signature transparent glasses caused loosing a lot from its past charm. The current reconstruction of the modernism wonder brings hope for restoring the assumptions of the original project.
Created during 1960-1966 based on the design of Zbigniew Karpiński.
Central Statistical Office
Block, Szpitalna Street
Block, Kinowa street
Na Rodrożu Place
ENG // Apartment building, looking like it was purposefully hidden from the curious eyes of tourists visiting the Old Town, is a textbook example of Warsaw modernism in its prime. Intimate passage between two blocks leads from Teatralny Square to the a building erected between 1974-1976 as an asylum for for the highest officials of the People’s Republic of Poland. Made entirely from prefabricated elements and despite repetitive construction elements, extremely sophisticated in its fantasy form. From the east, the balconies are arranged in the form of luxurious sun terraces and from the west building intrigues the observers with narrow windows facing north. Excellent location surrounded by historic landmarks, Saski Park and great communication around makes it still one of the best addresses in the capital.
Project Jerzy Kuźmienko and Piotr Sembrata.
X – block
The blocks built in 1971-1973 are a great example of how to delineate thought-out lines of perspectives using balconies. The characteristic curvature of the buildings laid out on the X pattern generates a lot of curvatures of falling chiaroscuro.
Project: Jan Zdanowicz
Polish Central Bank
Next to the one of the largest communication nodes in Warsaw emerges a beautiful railway pavilion, with its shape resembling a falling kite or a bird’s wing unfolding for a flight. This remarkable glass building with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof disappears surrounded by many commercial shops. To fully appreciate the craftsmanship of its creators one has to investigate every inch of this unique pavilon design. Built in the 1960s based on the design of Arsenius Romanowicz and Piotr Szymaniak.