In Autumn 2009 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust and Arup will host a major programme of exhibitions and talks focussed on Poland – its buildings spaces and cities. It will examine how they are designed, shaped and adapted by architects, artists and the people who live in and use them - reflecting the realities, history, identity and ambitions of a country undergoing massive change.
Highlights of the season include a lecture by Daniel Libeskind on the post-war culture paradigm, the first UK display of the Polish Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai expo by rising star practice Natalia Paszkowska and Marcin Mostafa, Christien, Kerez’s Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and the extraordinary houses of Robert Konieczny. Also on display will be the a magnificent 8 metre long pink and white knitted model of the longest housing block in Europe (860m), Falowiec in Gdansk.
The talks programme also includes Joseph Rykwert on Polish cities since the fall of communism, Tony Fretton on his recently opened British Embassy in Warsaw and a new wave of Polish talent Aleksandra Wasilkowska and Joanna Rajkowska.
The exhibition at the RIBA takes the theme of identity in Polish Architecture and is divided into three parts. Part one will look at buildings and projects that show how identity is expressed organically through everyday life in places and spaces. This will be shown through the work of artists and architects such as Joanna Rajkowska’s Oxygenator – an intervention that results in an extraordinary transformation of a public space, Medusa Group Architect’s Bolko Loft – a house and apartments built within the structures of an old coal-mining area and visions for the new National Stadium in Warsaw by JSK Architects.
The second theme of the exhibition is buildings and projects that draw on, echo or play with ideas of Polish identity. These will include the masterplan for Lodz’s new cultural quarter (2016), individual housing using traditional forms and two Polish expo pavilions – Shanghai 2010 and Hanover 2004. The third theme examines architects practicing in Poland, confronting ideas of Polish identity in their practice.