Klasycyzm zamiast szkła
Propozycja przebudowy. Źródło: Pracownia Projektowa - Architektura Klasyczna

Classicism instead of glass in Bank Square? Here is a proposal from the studio Classic Architecture

The western frontage of Warsaw’s Bank Square is one of the first consistent, large-scale architectural and urban planning arrangements in Polish history. Unfortunately, the post-war reconstruction of the capital – an opportunity to further regulate this part of the city – completely disrupted the harmony of the classicist square. In addition to the modernist block on the eastern frontage, a 20-storey, fully glazed skyscraper was erected, destroying the previous coherence and scale of the buildings there. Would classicism instead of glass have healed this space?

Recently, Warsaw has been debating how to make the square more aesthetically pleasing, and the Studio Projektowa – Architektura Klasyczna has presented its own attempt to reconcile the troublesome high-rise building with its location.

The Blue Skyscraper today. Source: Adrian Grycuk, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons

The architects were inspired by the nearby Grand Theatre as to how buildings in such historic locations should be supplemented. When the south wing was added in 1965, the eminent Polish modernist Bohdan Pniewski decided not to contrast the new architecture with the old, but to use the forms found in the historic building. The consequence is the youngest Corinthian colonnade in Warsaw to date, which is considered one of the architect’s best realisations and all post-war realisations in the capital in general.

“In our opinion, the new development of Bank Square is a much-needed investment, while it is one of those locations in Warsaw whose main problem is architecture. Virtually all the value of this space is the classicist western frontage – while the bland opposite side drastically reduces the stature of Bankowy. The biggest problem of the area is the Blue Skyscraper, which is a misunderstanding of urban planning, not in keeping with the character of the place.” – write the architects at Architektura Klasyczna.

Classicism instead of glass – the skyscraper now and in the visualisation proposed by the architects. Source: Gizm07, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons and Architecture Classical

The west façade of the ground floor now and in the visualisation proposed by the architects. Source: Google Maps and Classical Architecture

Their idea of radically adapting a high-rise building into a classical building is reminiscent of contemporary New York developments, which are quite popular with residents of the Big Apple. Perhaps Varsovians, too, would appreciate a similar unusual feature in their city?

The Blue Skyscraper (formerly the Golden Skyscraper) is located on the site occupied before World War II by the Great Synagogue, which was blown up by the Germans on 16 May 1943. In 1985, the unfinished project was handed over to the City of Warsaw. Because of the original colour of the façade, the building was called the “Golden Skyscraper”. In 1988, a contract was signed for the completion of the building. The copper-coloured façade was then replaced with an uncoloured reflective façade, which reflects the blue sky on sunny days (hence the current name). The skyscraper is 120 metres high (with antenna masts) and has 27 storeys above ground.

What do you think of this project?

Czy przebudowa Błękitnego Wieżowca w duchu klasycyzmu to dobry pomysł?

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Source: architektura-klasyczna.pl, polskieradio.pl

Read also: Architecture | Skyscraper | City | Warsaw | Architecture in Poland

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