Warsaw is still in the wake of the 1990 political transitions, as most
of Eastern European capital cities, combined with the severe historical facts
that shattered the city and its urban fabric, leaving a distinct stigma behind.
Under these ongoing changes and transitions, Warsaw seems to have been
constantly trying to define its role and identity as a European Capital.
Central Square is located at a strategic central point of the city,
concentrating fractions of all the changes mentioned above and a vital crossroad
of representatives of every social political and cultural background that can
be met in Poland. Nevertheless, none of these urban narratives seem to be
expressed there due to the lack of a defined welcoming square that would let
them unfold and take place. Our project begins with the approach to create and
revitalize an animated central stage for the theatre of the city, making it an
inseparable part of the current powerful flow of shaping Warsaw's new identity.
The design of the Central Square is based on the idea to create a
‘mosaic of activities’ that can generate urban vibrancy and attract all kinds
of citizens and age groups of Warsaw. The square becomes an accumulation of
different smaller public spaces that facilitate unique uses and break down the
immense scale of the intervention into more human proportions. Challenging the
monumental emptiness of the socialist city planning and the post-modern
alienation of commercial crossroads, our approach introduces the notion of
public space as an active and ever-changing apparatus that provokes the
participation and interaction of the urban dwellers. The design of the square
receives the programmatic excitement of the surrounding cultural buildings and
extrapolates it into the open and flexible realm of the street level, thus
performing both as an extension of their interior activities and as an
independent initiator of events. The Central Square of Warsaw is inevitably a
‘Theatre Plaza’ that has to be able of hosting the outdoors exhibitions, events
and performances of the TR Warszawa Theatre, the Museum of Modern Art and the
various cultural institutions that are based in the Palace of Culture and
Science. Therefore, as a response to the need of hosting all those diverse
cultural events, the square is developed as a flexible patchwork that can
easily change and adopt to any curatorial demands.