Roman Rutkowski, an architect from Wrocław, was the only Pole included on the prestigious list of the 40 most promising European architects under the age of 40.
The list is announced every year by the Chicago Athenaeum architecture and design museum, together with its European subsidiary - The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Since 2007, an international jury consisting of critics, historians, journalists and designers has chosen a group of forty architects every year, whose oeuvre is considered the most promising for European architecture. Submissions to the "Europe 40 under 40" can include projects in development as well as completed works. The submissions are judged for their innovativeness, ability to go beyond clichés, application of new technologies and sensitivity to the idea of sustainable development.
In 2012 Roman Rutkowski was acknowledged alongside architects from France, United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland, Malta or Turkey. He is a graduate of and later a research worker (Ph.D. 2005) at the Wrocław Polytechnic Department of Architecture, and for two year he has been a visiting professor at the Department of Architecture in Bratislava. He is not only a practicing architect, but also a researcher and critic, a member of SARP (The Association of Polish Architects) branch in Wrocław and an author of many publications about contemporary architecture. He is also an expert working for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe award and Public Space Awards.
In the capital city of Lower Silesia, Rutkowski runs his own studio, in which he designs projects of houses, housing blocks, buildings for public and commercial use. His own house, built in 2010, was proclaimed as one of the 101 most interesting Polish buildings of the last decade by the Bryla.pl website. This simple wooden house is a contemporary reworking of neighbouring cube-shaped 1970s houses The house also boasts a novel interior – instead of flooring there is concrete, while walls and ceiling are covered with OSB boards.
In 2008, Roman Rutkowski designed a single-family house in Wrocław, consisting of two cubic boxes moved past each other; in 2009 – a house in Oleśnica hidden under a giant gabled roof. The completion of his winning project for a city hall in Białystok (a composition of cuboids overgrown with plants, created together with Daniel Radwański and Paweł Maryńczuk) was suspended due to a crisis. For the same reason, the project to develop a historic water tower in Leszno into a Centre for Education and Science (2008) still awaits implementation
In 2010, Roman Rutkowski’s team won first prize in the contest for revitalizing the Nowy Targ square in Wrocław. The architects, keeping in mind respect for the modernist urban planning of the 1950s and 1960s, have prepared a vision of an innovative, friendly public space, whose composition is organized by a graphic pattern on the flooring.
The "Europe 40 under 40" list in 2008 included the names of Robert Konieczny and Tomasz Konior. The former is the author of internationally recognized and prize-winning house projects, whilst the latter has created many public use buildings – among them, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra concert hall, currently being constructed near the Spodek hall in Katowice.
In 2009, the list of the most interesting figures of young European architecture contained no fewer than six Poles: Marek Kościuch and Tomasz Osięgłowski, both from the Ultra Architects studio in Poznań; Anna Siedlecka (Puff Buff Design in Warsaw) and three Silesians: Beata Goczoł (Goczołowie Architekci Studio Autorskie, Zabrze), Barbara Grąbczewska and Oskar Grąbczewski (OVO Grąbczewscy Architekci, Katowice).
The following year brought an award for Wojciech Subalski from the HS99 studio in Koszalin (who co-designed the currently most famous Polish building, the Scientific Information Centre and Academic Library in Katowice) and a duo from Krakow’s nsMoon Studio - Piotr Nawara and Agnieszka Szultk. A year later the list included Aleksandra Jaeschke, who - together with Andrea Di Stefano - has been running their Studio Aion, based in Syracuse, Siciliy, since 2005.
The authors of "Europe 40 under 40" aim to promote the most interesting projects in architecture on the continent, as well as consolidating the architectural milieu. The jury’s sessions result in an annual gallery of winners’ works, which – soon after announcing the final 40 – embarks on an international tour.
The names of the 2012 winners can be found at http://www.chi-athenaeum.org/europe40/2012/_awards/index.html
Caption: Selected Works by Roman Rutkowski – the only Polish architect included this year on the prestigious list of 40 most promising European architects under the age of 40.
Author: Anna Cymer, 18.03.2013