The renovation of the Old Market Square in Poznań is nearing completion. The metamorphosis, which lasted several years, was supposed to create a new look and refresh the image of this place rich in monuments. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.The canopy installed over the walkway between the modernist pavilions from 1962, standing in the middle of the Old Market, caused considerable controversy
The pavilions house the Arsenal City Gallery and the Wielkopolska Military Museum. After the war, the townhouses of the early 20th century were not reconstructed in this location and they opted for contemporary architecture
The idea to build the structure came about after the temporary roofing served its purpose very well during several editions of the Malta Theatre Festival. Numerous concerts and meetings with artists were held under it. The city decided that it was worth taking advantage of this fact and permanently upgrading the wide strip between the pavilions
The planned canopy was to be discreet, lightweight and movable – so that, when folded, it would not interfere with the precious viewing axis. Unfortunately, something bizarre and completely opposite to the plans in the design was ultimately built. Heavy in form and immovable, the roof bears absolutely no resemblance to the one that was intended. Similar constructions can be found on rubbish sheds or market places. The immovable roof not only disturbs the view of the nearby Mielżyński Palace, but also obscures the most valuable monument – the Renaissance town hall
View of the Town Hall before and after the roof was installed. Photo: Poznan Scars and the editors of whiteMAD
The controversial issue was addressed by Maja Chłopocka of Poznań Municipal Investments in an interview with regional Poznań television station WTK:“After the changes, the roof is cheaper to operate as it only needs to be cleaned once, maximum twice a year. Otherwise, cleaning would have been more expensive due to the non-flat shape of the roof. […] The completed roof can withstand the snow load, so it can be left in place for the winter without having to be removed.”
We perceive the new roof over the walkway in such a culturally and historically valuable place as disrespectful to the area. Poznan’s Old Market has been disfigured, not the form of roofing we expected from the announced project. But what do our readers think of it?
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