Shakespearean Theatre is situated in the very heart of Gdańsk Old Town at 50/51 Długa Street and it gives viewers opportunity to enjoy theatre in its Elizabethan version. The construction of the theatre took place from March 2011 till September 2014. Wooden, bright and warm interiors are created inside massive, modern, brick construction. The roof can be opened in 3 min and plays can be watched in open air. The theatre hosts maximum 600 spectators, depending on a stage and audience setup. Both stage and audience can be manipulated so, the stage can be either in the middle or on the side of the theatre. The building is a headquarters of the annual Shakespeare’s Festival. Still, it operates all year long as a versatile culture institution, educational institute and conference center.
WWII Museum in Gdańsk was created according to the design of Studio Kwadrat and A-PLAN bis, which received the first prize in an architectural competition settled in 2010. The block was erected at Wałowa Street next to the Gdańsk Shipyard. The authors of the project called the building a "silent project", which is to evoke strong emotions and deep reflection among visitors. Its interior is divided into three parts: the basement is to be devoted to the past, the ground floor - to the present, and the future is expressed by a dominant with a viewing point. The museum grounds cover almost 2.5 acres, while the building covers 26,000 square meters. In total there are over 2,000 exhibits on display spread over three narrative blocks: ‘The Road to War’, ‘The Horrors of War’, and ‘The War’s Long Shadow’. This is divided into 18 thematic sections, which is reflected in the layout of the exhibition rooms.
The exhibition of European Solidarity Centre and the newly built museum are really impressive. 58 architectural teams from all over the world entered the international architectural competition for the concept of the ECS building. The winner was Przedsiębiorstwo Projektowo-Wdrożeniowe FORT from Gdańsk. According to the architects' concept, the body of the ECS building "should be characterized by extreme simplicity, such as that which characterized the goals and methods of Solidarity Movement". The walls are clad with corten sheet, which with its rusty color refers to the elements of shipyard hulls. The museum chambers are filled in with historic exhibits, modern multimedia equipment and artistic installations all about Polish aspirations to be a free country at the end of the 20th century. The museum has seven main chambers at two floors of the new building.
Szczecin Philharmonics has been located in a modern building since 2014. The building has been awarded in many competitions. As the only building in the history of Poland, it won the main prize of European Mies van der Rohe in 2015. The design of the building, which was supposed to resemble the tip of an iceberg, was developed by Barozzi / Veiga studio from Barcelona.
Bydgoszcz Nova Opera House is probably the oldest building in the list but worth mentioning. It is one of the most modern equipped opera theaters in Poland with very interesting design. Today, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz is an impressive facility whose three stone circles, picturesquely situated in the bend of the Brda River, in the immediate vicinity of the Old Town, have become one of the symbols of the city. Its authors are Józef Chmiel (died 2013) and the current professor of the Gdańsk University of Technology Andrzej Prusiewicz.
Jordanki Cultural and Congress Center in Toruń was designed by the Spanish architect Fernando Menis. He proposed a building with a bold, expressive form, but in line with the local character. He wove a brick mosaic in the plane of bright facades, which is a reference to the gothic buildings of the oldest part of Toruń.
Kraków Cricoteka is the new headquarters of Tadeusz Kantor creations museum. It is located in Cracow’s Podgórze District Power Plant at Nadwiślańska Street. In 2006, in an international architectural competition, a concept was selected by IQ2 Konsorcjum (Wizja Sp.z o.o.- Stanisław Deńko, nsMoonStudio Sp.z o.o.- Piotr Nawara, Agnieszka Szultk, Kraków). The designers were awarded for their ambitious attempt to build a public space that would be both a stage and an audience - a place of constant spectacle, where, like in the Kantor Theater, the boundaries between the actor and the audience are eliminated.
Małopolski Art Garden is a cultural space on the map of Krakow, where performances, presentations of artistic projects and various workshops and classes take place. The authors of the MOS building design are K. Ingarden and J. Ewy Architekci sp.z o.o. The Małopolska Garden of Arts is one of the projects co-financed by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Program for 2007-2013.
Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology is located at 26 Marii Konopnickiej Street in Kraków. Only 1.1 km from Wawel Castle (15 min walk by Vistula river). The building was designed by a famous Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and it is a distinctive design in the scale of our country. The museum was opened in 1994. The permanent exhibition consists of collections of Mr Feliks Jasieński, the Wajdas family and other donators. Manggha combines museum and active culture centre functions so, visitors can enjoy here various experiences and events.
POLIN Museum is a new, ultramodern cultural museum on the map of Warsaw. It is situated at 6 Mordechaja Danielewicza Street in the place which was former Jewish district and also later on Warsaw Ghetto. The museum is a place dedicated to all those who are interested in heritage of Polish Jews and it is a symbol of breakthrough in Polish-Jewish relations during 1000 years history from Medieval times up till now. The building was erected in 2009–2013 according to the design of a team of Finnish architects led by Rainer Mahlamäki, who won the competition, to which a total of 245 architects from 36 countries entered. The new building had to be functional, modern and have a recognizable, distinctive form to become one of the symbols of contemporary Warsaw.
Witold Lutosławski National Forum of Music in Wrocław was designed by architects from the Kuryłowicz & Associates office. According to the designers' intention, the edifice was supposed to evoke associations with a violin resonance body and a piano keyboard. Hence the subdued, brown facade cladding and the impressive black and white interior of the building located in the center of Wrocław. As the building was erected near the historic buildings of the Old Town, the designers of the concert hall decided to respect the historical context and the subdued shape adapted to the surroundings.
Culture Zone in Katowice is located in new and old buildings of former coal mine. The new facilities brought a new quality to the revitalized part of Katowice. The black facades of the International Congress Center are a tribute to the mining history of this place, while the passage, crossing the building into two parts and leading from the city center to the Bogucice district north of it, is an expression of respect for the existing urban situation and the desire to preserve the historical communication route. The author of the project is the Warsaw studio JEMS Architekci.
EC1 Łódź is a building that joins the old power plant and the new modern cultural centre. The revitalizing works started in 2008. The post-industrial buildings were renovated and modernized and adapted to new functions. Conservation and restoration works of industrial monuments were undertaken in order to adapt them to new roles. Currently, "EC1 Łódź - City of Culture" in Łódź is the organizer of many cultural and artistic events and also location of the most modern Polish Planetarium.
The above mentioned examples are just a few most often visited ones by our tourists. Still, Poland has experienced quick and constant growth in the last 30 years and this is why, there are many great modern architecture examples to trace down during Polish trips. If you want to discover others just contact one of our professional group coordinators and start planning your Polish adventure.
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska