The guide by the Centre for Architecture and Design in Łódź to young Polish architecture, Tomorrow’s Avant-garde? / Map, contains the profiles of 16 practices and freelance architects under 40. The Map showcases one project by each, creating a web of mutual collaboration - as the publishers attest, "the transition between the 20th and 21st centuries revealed the fact that architecture and design are the icons of modern culture and civilisation."
+48 – The Wooden Chunk House, Sękocin
Wooden Chunk House, project by +48, photograph courtesy of the Łódź Centre of Architecture and Design
The architects from +48 (Karol Szparkowski, Kamil Miklaszewski, Agata Filipek, Jacek Kamiński) have been active since 2006 and have experience from housing projects to the interior design of office buildings. They have authored award-winning projects including a modernisation project for Warsaw’s Three Crosses Square, the Jacmel primary school in Haiti and the ESK exhibit pavilion in Wroclaw. One of their acclaimed designs is the Wooden Chunk House, a private building located on the green outskirts of Warsaw with a characteristic surface, as it’s covered by pine chunks from cut trees. The project won the 20+10+X Architecture Awards 6th Cycle Award, organised by the World Architecture Community.
137Kilo + WWAA – The Służew Cultural Centre
The Służew Cultural Centre, project by 137kilo and WWAA, photograph by Jakub Certowicz courtesy of the Łódź Centre of Architecture and Design
137kilo is a Warsaw-based architecture practice opened in 2006. Its founders, Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik and Jan Sukiennik, are involved in the production of exhibitions, stage design and interiors – examples of previous work include the café-club Latawiec, NBP and the Łódź Design Festival. With WWAA, they co-authored the Służew Cultural Centre project, due to open at the end of 2013. This modern construction reminds the viewer of the location’s history: the dominant wooden structures, as well as the pet enclosure, vegetable garden and container for biodegradable waste all convey the idea of an old village settlement. Members of the executive team include Maciej Kleszczewski, Wojciech Piwowarczyk and Anna Zawadzka.
Bridge – OperaLab, The Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera, Warsaw
The OperaLab exhibition, project by Bridge, photograph by Mikołaj Molenda courtesy of the Łódź Centre of Architecture and Design
Bridge is a practice specialising in Augmented Reality technology connecting the real world with the virtual one, and in personalised furniture. Founded by Hanna Kokczyńska, Jacek Majewski, Mikołaj Molenda, Jarosław Nowotka and Michał Piasecki, the studio combines technology and design. It is active mainly in graphic and interface design, new apps, parametric models and video mapping. For the recent OperaLab contest organised by the Polish National Opera (Designing identity / The identity of design, in cooperation with Bogdan Grygo and Krzysztof Mazanek) the team created an app enabling users to see the “finalised” mock-ups of those mobile pavilions, which made it to the final of the contest.
BudCud – Come, We’ll Show You What We’re Doing, ms2, Łódź
BudCud – Come, We’ll Show You What We’re Doing, ms2, Łódź, photograph by Janek Ratecki
Mateusz Adamczyk and Agata Woźniczka currently lead the BudCud practice, founded in 2007. They won the 9th European contest (2008) with their project to transform old industrial sites in Warsaw. Collaborating with WWAA, MOKO, KAPS and Centrala in their mission to create common public spaces, they designed the Seven Years Stadium and the Square for City Sports in Bemowo (under construction). BudCud are currently working on reviving the Millenium Park in Zielona Góra, and transforming a potable water container in Kraków to suit recreational needs. On their premises in Łódź (ms2), they recently created an interactive exhibition - Come, We’ll Show You What We’re Doing – which tested the relationship between the visitor and the exhibition space. Team members included Dominika Tomaszewska and Jakub Urbaniak.
Marcin Kwietowicz – Edward Krasiński's Studio, Warsaw
Marcin Kwietowicz, The Avant-Garde Institute - Edward Krasiński's Studio, Warsaw, photograph by Jan Smaga
Marcin Kwietowicz is an architect and designer whose creations include luxury stores in Warsaw (Galilu, with Grażyna Czarnota) as well as art spaces such as the entrance hall to the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (with Wojciech Kotecki and Albert Salamon), the Avant-Garde Institute – Edward Krasiński's Studio (with BAR Architekten: Joost Glissenaare, Klaas van der Molen) and the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2005, Artur Żmijewski’s exhibition). In 2013, a building he designed with Piotr Brzoza was recognised as the best single-family home in Poland (2000-2012) by the architecture magazine Murator.
Then there’s Krasiński's glass-covered studio: constructed on top of an 11-floor apartment block from 1962, it adds an extra floor to what had been this legendary avant-garde artist’s actual studio. Currently, it houses a museum dedicated to Krasiński and his work.
Michalewicz Tański – Hotel Baltic Palace, Pobierowo
Hotel Baltic Palace in Pobierowo, designed by Michalewicz Tański, photograph by Piotr Krajewski, courtesy of the Łódź Centre of Architecture and Design
This Warsaw practice, founded by Piotr Michalewicz and Michalewicz Tański, designs and constructs technologically advanced buildings. The architects polished their craft at the New York-based Asymptote and Valode et Pistre in Paris, both of which influenced their decision to create geometrically complex buildings, revealing the search for a new quality of space. Michalewicz Tański placed third at the Polish Pavilion contest for the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, and received an honourable mention at the international contest for Poland’s largest concert hall, the coming home of Sinfonia Varsovia.
mode:lina – CLAE Pop-Up Store, Poznań
mode:lina, CLAE Pop-Up Store Poznań
Paweł Garus and Jerzy Woźniak, founders of the Poznań-based studio mode:lina, like to play around with materials and conventions. Since 2009, they have been working on some unusual projects, which, apart from looking good, also have a particular mission. An example of such work includes installations (Audiocloud, built from tubes, showcased at the 2011 London Design Festival) and pop-up stores for commercial clients, where the young architects recycle cheap and easily accessible materials. The CLAE pop-up store was built using old EUR-pallets.
MOOMOO – Yachting House
Yachting House, project by MOOMOO, photograph courtesy of the Łódź Centre of Architecture and Design
The MOOMOO practice, founded by Łukasz Pastuszka and Jakub Majewski, was chosen as one of the world’s top 30 architecture studios in 2009 by Wallpaper magazine. Their projects are characterised by a sense of minimalism, and the structures relate to the ideas of neo-modernism. The Yachting House is the design for a house on a steep hill, which can be practically accessed by boat.
NArchitekTURA (Bartosz Haduch) – CONTINUUM, Southern Poland
The Kraków-based NArchitekTURA was counted among the world’s top 30 "rising stars" of architecture in 2010 by Wallpaper magazine. It had been established three years prior by Bartosz Haduch as an interdisciplinary workshop, combining commercial design, publishing and art. The relationship between architecture and nature plays a particularly important role in NArchitekTURA’s projects.
One of them involves a garden hut covered by a semi-transparent, external veil refracting light, shadow and the geometrical limits of architecture. The cover, made of Air Z material (usually used for isolation in roof construction), had been put together from a number of moving elements, which make it possible to open and close the whole structure depending on atmospheric conditions, time of day and seasons. The house was co-created by Zbigniew Haduch.
Maciej Siuda + Rodrigo García González – DEVEBERE
Maciej Siuda, Rodrigo García González, DEVEBERE
Maciej Siuda earned his experience in design studios in Madrid, Tokyo and Alicante. He is the co-founder of the IWAU international architecture workshops and creator of the Balon experimental workshop. He designs and experiments with fellow Spanish architect and designer, Rodrigo García.
Their DEVEBERE installation is an attempt to create architecture out of plastic bottles and pure air, or rather the lack thereof. As the air is sucked out of the plastic bag wrapped around the bottles, it produces a vacuum, which in turn increases the load-bearing and structural aspects of form – and the form could be a pavilion or a piece of furniture. The project received an award from the French Institute of Architecture (Cité de l’Architecture) and was picked for the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture from among 130 works.
Jan Strumiłło – Klubokawiarnia Towarzyska (Towarzyska Café-Club), Warsaw
Jan Strumiłło, Klubokawiarnia Towarzyska, photograph by Jakub Certowicz
Jan Strumiłło started out at the Centrala Design Group and the JEMS Architects workshop, but has been freelancing since 2010. He created the architectural model of Warsaw’s smallest gallery, Witryna, and interiors for the Towarzyska café-club in Warsaw and the Recto | verso bar in the National Library’s building. He is also the author of numerous installations.
Jakub Szczęsny (Centrala) – Keret’s House, Warsaw
Jakub Szczęsny (Centrala), Keret’s House, photograph by Krzysztof Wojciewski, Bartek Warzecha
Jakub Szczęsny’s work ethic is to combine architecture and art. Over a decade ago, he set up the Centrala Design Group with Krzysztof Banaszewski, Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Jan Strumiłło, whose architectural projects attempt to find new solutions for contemporary urban problems and protect the heritage of post-war modernism - but also to serve as purely artistic endeavours.
Szczęsny has received awards for his designs of the Sports Hall in Bierun (2006, with Ryszard Szczęsny and Jan Strumiłło) and the Ohel temporary pavilion at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (2006, with Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Krzysztof Banaszewski). He has edited books and co-created architectural projects such as the restoration of the Warsaw-Powiśle Station (2009), currently home to a prominent central club. Keret’s House (2012), reputedly one of the narrowest houses in the world, is a space to reside and create in. The installation’s patron is the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
Aleksandra Wasilkowska – Zachęta National Art Gallery, Warsaw
Aleksandra Wasilkowska, Zachęta National Art Gallery, photograph by Maciej Landsberg
Aleksandra Wasilkowska’s work traces the very limits of architecture, art and science. Together with Agnieszka Kurant, she represented Poland at the 12th Venice Biennale of Architecture. In addition to being a book editor, she designs installations exhibited in galleries and contemporary art museums, as well as stage decorations for the theatre.
Her projects include a house built as a passive, energy-saving construction, but her work has been recognised in a wide range of contests – for example the modernisation of Warsaw’s Grzybowski Square, or a garden in Pontivy, France. At the Zachęta National Art Gallery, she rebuilt the space occupied by the bookshop, entrance hall, locker room and library; the new, entirely white interior forms a neutral background for the gallery’s neoclassical building.
WWAA – Rebel One, Warsaw
WWAA, Rebel One, Warsaw
WWAA is a Warsaw-based studio founded in 2006 by Natalia Paszkowska and Marcin Mostrafa. This duo has won several prestigious contests, including the Polish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and the Służew Cultural Centre with 137kilo (currently under construction). A significant part of their work consists of stage designs and installations.
Since 2012, they have been collaborating with Slovak stage designer Boris Kudlička. The Rebel One apartment building in Soho was co-created with Iwona Borkowska, Andrzej Hunzvi, Michał Kielian and the Konkret Architects group. The cube alludes to the architectural motifs of the nearby industrial relics. The fact that the bricks are positioned in 26 different ways lends the building its unique, sculpted character.
Maciej Jakub Zawadzki – Museum of Latin American Immigrants, Miami
Museum of Latin American Immigrants in Miami, project: Maciej Jakub Zawadzki
Maciej Jakub Zawadzki is the author of the Miami Pier Museum of Latin American Immigrants project, recognised by Wallpaper magazine as one of the world’s best graduate projects (Graduate Directory 2011). Zawadzki’s sculpted surface proposal is for a site located near the South Beach coast and alludes to the hurricanes, which frequently torment the area. The design was also nominated as the best project at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. Zawadzki earned his experience in prestigious Warsaw-based studios, and then in some of the most renowned workshops in the world, such as the Bjarke Ingels Group and MVRDV in Rotterdam.
Karol Żurawski – OperaLab, The Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera
OperaLab, mobile pavilion project, Karol Żurawski
Karol Żurawski polished his skills under the supervision of contemporary minimalists including Christian Kerez, designer of the unrealized project for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and Peter Zumthor, winner of the Pritzker prize. Żurawski’s projects are formally modest and make use of natural materials; many have won prizes in architecture and design contests. His idea for a mobile pavilion contoured by an anthracite curtain came in first place at the Designing identity/The identity of design OperaLab contest, organised by the Grand Theatre – Polish National Opera and BMW.
The Tomorrow’s Avant-Garde? / Map (2013) project was produced by the Architecture and Design Centre at the Higher School of Art and Design in Łódź, and edited by Igor Gałązkiewicz. In addition to presenting relevant projects, the volume also contains interviews with the selected artists and articles by Professor Jerzy Derkowski and Igor Gałązkiewicz.
Sources: bryla.pl, awangardajutra.pl, the artists’ own material
Author: Agnieszka Sural, 11/10/2013, translation Ewa Bianka Zubek 15/10/2013