WARSAW CENTRAL SQUARE

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INFORMATION

location:
Warsaw, Poland
client:
Capital City of Warsaw
year:
2018
status:
competition entry
program:
Infrastructure
total area:
2.400m2
competition team:
Marina Kounavi
Karolina Szóstkiewicz
Irgen Salianji
Harris Vamvakas
Tatiana Zoumpoulaki







DESCRIPTION

THE PATCHWORK

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.