Poland Urban Planning

By | December 30, 2021

After the war, the activity of M. Nowicki (1910-1950), the best known among the Polish architects established in the world, author of the reconstruction plan of the Center of Warsaw, but above all of the famous Arena of Raleigh (USA) and of the first draft of the Chandigarh (Indian Union) plan which, after his death, was drawn up by Le Corbusier.

After the first period of reconstruction which coincides with the three-year plan 1947-49, the realization of the six-year plan (1950-55) begins, the urban aim of which is the rebalancing of the territory and which in architecture coincides with socialist realism. In this key we can understand the location of the new production centers, the most classic example of which is Nowa Huta, the large steel plant built a few kilometers from historic Krakow. To remember the industrialization of Warsaw, the restructuring of the GOP, the coal basin of Upper Silesia, where 2 million residents are concentrated on just over 700 km 2.

In Warsaw there is the restructuring of the urban fabric and landscape with sometimes questionable interventions such as the construction of the Huta Warszawa steel plant or the Palace of Culture and Sciences (1953-55), an eclectic skyscraper in the heart of the city at the intersection between Marszalkowska Street and Aleje Jerozolimskie (fig. 4), but at the same time there is the reconstruction of the historic restructuring is by B. Lachert); the former ghetto, now Nowotki (renovated by the Brukalskis); the construction, with materials obtained from war destruction, of the ten-year stadium (J. Hryniewiecki M. Leykam, C. Rajewski, all born in 1908), the

After 1956-57 the guidelines of planning and architecture change significantly. On an individual level, the School of R. Gutt is established, from which architects such as T. Kobylański, of 1919 (Osiedle Mlodych-Warsaw district) emerge; J. Nowicki, from 1921 (Zatrasie-Warsaw district), H. Skibniewska, from 1921 (Sady-Warsaw district), T. Zieliński, from 1914, and the younger ones: M. Gutt, W. Nowak.

In the 1960s the realizations, in the residential field, of Z. and O. Hansen (b. 1922) in team (Slowacki neighborhoods in Lublin and Przyczolek in Warsaw) are significant. Hansen, author among other things of the “Theory of the open form”, is an example of a coherent activity for the purpose of a positive result despite the constraints of technological deficiencies and organizational prejudices. In general, in the residential field, the uniformity bordering on monotony is surprising, as a result of the rigid legislation, the almost total absence of the chromatic element, the indiscriminate use of heavy prefabrication, which thus obtained considerable incentive. For Poland 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.

In the field of teaching, the activity of J. Soltan (b. 1913; student and former collaborator of Le Corbusier) stands out at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where they teach; Z. Ihnatowicz and T. Zieliński for architecture, W. Zamecznik (1923-1968) and J. Palka for graphics; B. Malisz (b. 1910), Z. Skibniewski (b. 1905), for urban planning; B. Urbanowicz, W. Fangor, R. Ziemski, T. Dominik for painting; O. Hansen, for sculpture; W. Wittek, J. Kurzatkowski for furniture; L. Tomaszewski for the structures. Soltan, together with Z. Ihnatowicz and his teamto which W. Gessler and L. Tomaszewski belonged, he created some interesting works in the period of the Sixties: the Start sports complex and the Sródmieście underground station in Warsaw, the shopping center in Olsztyn; it also participates in many international competitions.

The affirmations in the international field and the lack, within the country, of qualitatively valid examples, especially from the executive point of view, denounce the conflict between planning skills and economic means of realization. Furthermore, the research is formally hindered by a set of bureaucratic rules and procedures which, ultimately, exclude experimentation in the field of residential construction and leave room for design freedom only in the field of public works: sports or representation.

Since the seventies there has been a considerable effort in the reorganization of the urban and architectural design sector, also due to the administrative reform of the Poland, which transformed the old classifications of administrative subdivisions, into which the national territory was divided, reducing them from four to two, and changed the borders and the number of old voivodships (which were 17) bringing them to 49, thus achieving greater homogeneity within each of them, facilitating their planning and management (fig. 5).

In this period many important works were carried out in terms of meaning and quality: the central station and the Trasa Lazienkowska axis in Warsaw; the interesting residential complex in Wrocław (J. Hawrylak Grabowska); the Sports Palace in Katowice (by M. Gintowt and M. Krasinski); the university city in Toruń (by R. Karlowicz), and some interesting works by the younger M. Budzyński, A. Kowalewski, A. Kiciński, J. Kuźmienko, Poland Sembrat, JM Chmielewski. In the field of conservative restoration and reconstruction, historical fabrics are completed. The most significant example of this remarkable construction effort is the Royal Castle and Ujazdow Castle in Warsaw.

But in general, despite these interventions, mostly of completion of the ancient fabrics – now restructured – and despite the correct development of the cities, free from the capitalist pressures of land rent, even the Polish cities have forgotten, planned and built according to the laws traffic, the human scale.

Poland Urban Planning