Warsaw is presently a city under a considerable pressure for change. A stark political system change and an enormous economic spurt have given prominence to private initiatives, leaving behind several public spaces and relevant buildings at the will of speculative developers. Out of these, Warszawianka - by its privileged location in the green backbone of the city - is symptomatic of the types of privatization pressures the plots with these characteristics are presently undergoing.
This public sports complex is presently facing an unknown future, some of its more public functions are being commercialized and its architectural shape is being lost in the process. This competition attempted to revitalize this particularly relevant example of Polish architecture history, restoring its former dignity and role in public life.
All presented projects understood the added value of connecting this park to the wider green structure of the city and aimed to bring about new uses and new users to this overlooked space of the city.
The more successful schemes have provided guidelines that allow for flexibility in use, anticipating future needs and preventing its obsolescence.
Privileged by the Jury were the proposals that included a high degree of reality and feasibility all the while respecting the more positive points of the original project by Jerzy Soltan.
FIRST PRIZE AWARD “Body, Time & Gravity”
by Grzegorz Gadek, Jakub Szczesny, Malgorzata Kuciewicz, Natalia Kowalska and Simone De Iacobis, from CENTRALA + Skwer Sportów Miejskich from Warsaw, Poland
From the Jury: “Warszawianka has been dormant for too long, it still has not fulfilled entirely its mission. This was clearly the premise out of which this proposal has departed.
The winning entry of this competition was praised by its clear understanding of the objective of each of the different natural and architectural elements in the overall context. The strongest value noted is the rational analysis of the original project and transposition of its inherent intentions to the present day needs.
Regarding Mokotow neighborhood as in the middle of a process of gentrification, this park can be instrumental to the improvement of urban life quality in its community. The Park is restituted to the wider green continuous mass that forms Warsaw’s Scarp. The continuity is undoubted; either with its leisure and cultural function, along with the environmental aspect.
It is an extremely realistic scheme that revisits the seminal qualities of Jerzy Soltan’s team plans of deep communion between Man and Nature, It was the only proposal taking into account the colour scheme designed by Wojciech Fangor to establish a remarkable contrast of architecture and nature/greenery.
This project was commended as a generally well thought-through proposal that addresses all topics from climate change, water management to landscape tools and annual activity calendar. Being strongly intertwined with the landscaping solution, the environmental needs are fully articulated with the public needs.
With a reevaluation of the existing elements, which have not yet exhausted their potential, the team has successfully provided some sensible answers to Warszawianka’s uncertain future.