Trafostacja Sztuki w Szczecinie ul. Świętego Ducha 4 Wto-Czw & Nie / Tue-Thu & Sun 11:00-19:00 Pt-Sob / Fri-Sat 11:00-21:00



October 25 – November 17, 2013


Opening photos:



WEDNESDAY, 23.10.2013

19.00 opening of student workshops in Trafostacja Sztuki


  student workshops

13.00 open lecture: Johan de Koning – Trafostacja Sztuki

DAY I – FRIDAY, 25.10.2013

  student workshops – all day

12.00 city game – “Remember Szczecin”

13.00 press conference with a curatorguided tour around the main exhibition

13.00 open lecture: Johan de Koning – Trafostacja Sztuki

17.00 Exhibition of the best BDASARP diploma works – Galeria Forma

at the Flauty of Architecture of West Pomeranian University of Technology

19.00 Opening of the WESTIVAL, opening of the main exhibition – Trafostacja Sztuki

20.30 Filip Springer at new offices of SARP Szczecin, 10 Mariacka St.

21.30 afterparty – Brama Jazz Cafe

DAY II – SATURDAY, 26.10.2013

9.00 − 11.00       guided tour of the new philharmonic building with Estudio Barozzi Veiga

9.00 − 11.00 guided tour of Centrum Dialogu „Przełomy” with Robert Konieczny (KWK Promes)

11.00 curator guided tour around the main exhibition – open for all visitors

12.00 FILMS – WESTIVAL cinema featuring Jadwiga Kocur Český Film, Al. Jana Pawła II 3

13.00 open lecture: Johan de Koning – Trafostacja Sztuki

14.00 LECTURE PANEL: “Made in… national architecture?”

  BLOCK 1 – Nationality

14.05 Achitecture Snob – „Made in…” introduction to the lectures

14.20 coffee break

14.25 Maciej Miłobędzki – JEMS Architects

14.45 long coffee break

  BLOCK 2 – National Cosmopolitan

15.00 Ewa P. Porębska – “Made IN – Made FOR”

15.20 coffee break

15.25 Katarzyna Krakowiak

15.45 long coffee break

16.00 Hugon Kowalski – “Challenge”

16.25 coffee break

  BLOCK 3 – New Icons of Szczecin

16.45 Robert Konieczny – Centrum Dialogu “Przełomy”

17.15 coffee break

17.25 Barozzi Veiga – Szczecin Philharmonic

ok. 18.00 closing of the lectures

20.00 afterparty – Brama Jazz Cafe + live music + Opening of “Game of Colours” exhibition

DAY III  – SUNDAY, 27.10.2013

11.00 public presentation of student workshops

12.00 architecture workshops for children Trafostacja Sztuki

12.00 nonobvious architectural excursions around Szczecin with Przemek Głowa 

14.00 marathon of young architectural studios from Szczecin

17.00 FILMS – WESTIVAL cinema Český Film, Al. Jana Pawła II 3

19.00 air trip with Przemek Głowa


The main exhibition will ask a question, whether there is still any place left for national architectures in our globalized world? We will try to research whether there actually is a phenomenon which could be named Polish architecture. If there is, we will try to determine whether it has its unique style, own, individual voice

The very location of the festival in the city of Szczecin adds an additional dimension to its meaning on the account of the city’s location and history, as well as the process of nationality sweeps which took place several times. The exhibition will occupy the entire space of Trafostacja Sztuki. It will consist of a number of parts, the majority of which will refer to Polish architecture. There will also be artistic and critical comments on our reality

Artists and architects: Robert Konieczny KWK Promes, Tomasz Głowacki, Menthol Architects, Jurgen Mayer H., mobius architekci, Interurban, JSK Architekci, Ingarden & Ewý, Konior Studio, Sztuczne Fiołki, Miasto Moje A W Nim, L.U.C., Filip Springer, Joanna Nowicka

Exhibition design and layout: Zalewski Architecture Group

Assistant exhibition curators: Paulina Kałużna, Łukasz Jarząbek

When: October 25 – November 17

Where: Trafostacja Sztuki


The Faculty of Architecture of the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin will house an exhibition of the best works entered to this year’s Polish-German BDA-SARP Integration Award competition. The award is a common initiative of the most important architectural associations from Poland and Germany. Its purpose is to promote environmental cooperation and integration of young architects from Germany and Poland. The exhibition will feature the best diploma works of architecture students from both countries and will take place in FORMA Galeria Architektów at the Faculty of Architecture of WPUT

When: October 25 (Friday), 17.00

Where: Wydział Architektury Zachodniopomorskiego Uniwersytetu Technologicznego w Szczecinie


The main subject and the goal of all creative endeavors will be to look for the bases of creative activity rooted in so called “locality” and widely understood “Polishness”. A direct creative inspiration for the participants of the workshops is the direct neighborhood of the Trafostacja Sztuki building in Szczecin, a quarter surrounding Św. Ducha street and reflecting the presence and creative impact of people from all stages of the development of the city. What we will also find there are traces of our habitation and transformation of the city. By solving spatial and esthetic problems of this part of Szczecin, we would like to leave a positive trace of our presence by shaping the local space as we see fit, transgressing current trends and global tendencies as we go.

The workshops will be conducted by: Johan de Koning (Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst, Laboratorium voor Architektuur, the Netherlands), arch. Jarosław Bondar (West Pomeranian University of Technology, Laboratory of Architecture,, Szczecin).

Originator and curator: arch. Jarosław Bondar

When: from 23.10.2013 (Wednesday, at 6.00 pm) to 27.10.2013 (Sunday, at 12.00)

Where: Trafostacja Sztuki


The organizers of Westival, the Art of Architecture are inviting architects for public presentations – a marathon of young architecture studios. The originator and curator of the marathon of young architecture studios: arch. Tomasz Sachanowicz (Architecture in Szczecin).

When: October 27 (Sunday), 14:00

Where: Trafostacja Sztuki


The 7th edition of Westival will feature unique, unexpected and extraordinary city tours guided by Przemek Głowa – a city guide, backpack bookinist, former scout and acolyte, anarchocatholic surrealist and vegetarian for over 20 years. Przemek Głowa cooperates with the most important culture institutions as well as local government and non-government organizations. He is a columnist, delivers lectures in ethnography, history of art and the history of Szczecin at the Pomeraniam Dukes’ Castle, the National Museum, Piwnica Kany, Odra Zoo Gallery and Pizzeria Vinci. He is the coauthor of tourist tracks around Szczecin, and the co-originator of “Zrób to w Szczecinie”.

During the WESTIVAL, this Szczecin blogger will guide 3 tours, including an … air tour!

Find out more about Przemek and his blog at: –

When: Sunday, 27.10.2013, 12.00 and 19.00

Where: tours start at Biuro Westivalu Architektury 2013, 10 Mariacka St.



A special guest of this year’s edition of WESTIVAL will be a renowned director of  documentary movies devoted to architecture in Poland – Jadwiga Kocur. She will be presenting two of her pieces: “Two Headed Dragon” and “Porwanie Europy” – both raising the issue of national architectures. The former ” Two Headed Dragon” tells the story of „architectural cold war” which was waged in the In
terwar Period in Upper Silesia, where we had Polish Katowice city on the one side, and German Zabrze, Bytom and Gliwice cities (Hindenburg, Beuten and Gliwitz) on the other side. The cities on both sides of the border vied with one another in erecting modern buildings. The latter one, „Porwanie Europy” is a search for the Polish style in the 30s, when Poland along with the entire Europe was moving towards nationalism. “Fascist” architecture prevailed all over the continent, also in Poland, where monumental structures were to manifest power, or even the imperialistic nature of the country.

Jadwiga Kocur – director and screenwriter of documentary movies devoted primarily to architecture and art in general. If it wasn’t for architecture, as she says about herself, she would be forced to read books. This is why her movies are the result of her fascination of architecture, and specifically her fascination with the infinity of histories which may be recorded and then interpreted from architecture itself. By education, Jadwiga Kocur is a graduate of the school of the Polish language and literature. By profession, she is a filmmaker. Her works have always been inextricably linked to architecture. She debuted with a cycle of architecture reportages titled “Odkrywanie przestrzeni” (“Discovering space”), produced for the Polish National Television Broadcast. Since 2006, Kocur devoted her attention to independent cinema, whilst remaining in the field of architecture. The guest director of numerous film festivals and exhibitions in Poland and abroad, e.g. in the US, Canada, Turkey, Great Britain and the Czech Republic. Her past projects include collaborations with the DISCOVERY CHANNEL as well as several documentaries which are currently featured on PLANETE.

When: October 26 (Saturday), 12.00 and October 27 (Sunday), 17.00

Where:  Český Film, Al. Jana Pawła II 3


KODA kids is a group established and conducted by three architects: Katarzyna Zwolak, Aleksandra Rus and Edyta Waszak, all graduates of 1999 of the Szczecin University of Technology, the Faculty of Architecture and Construction.

The idea for architecture workshops for children and teenagers was born when, tired with their professional careers and witnessing a stereotypical approach to the topic of architecture, we undertook to change the image of architecture as being a very hermetic discipline reserved for professionals only.

We would like to promote architectural education by creating dedicated programs for children and teenagers. We cooperated with numerous institutions operating in Szczecin, such as Pałac Młodzieży – West Pomeranian Culture Center, Szczecin Culture Incubator, Towarzystwo Wspierania Inicjatyw KulturalnoSpołecznych, International Szczecin Fair, Caritas, as well as the Szczecin division of SARP.

Our continuing testing ground are cyclic workshops taking place in the Mozaika studio. Classes are conducted in the form of games and play, during which we design and construct. Every class ends with constructing a spatial model. We introduce the children into the world of architecture, sometimes art, familiarizing them with the terminology and theoretical aspects during common discussions, games and practical activities. We pass knowledge of surrounding space in an accessible way (sometimes even edible). An added asset to our meetings with architecture is group work teaching children to cooperate with one another. Practical activities develop the ability to think practically and shape the child’s imagination, which affects their creative outlook on the world.

The purpose of the activity of KODA kids is make young people aware that they can actively participate in shaping the space of the city. We would like the conscious meeting with architecture experienced by children during our classes to sensitize them to the life of the space around them.

When: October 27 (Sunday), 11.00

Where: Trafostacja Sztuki 


The city game designed by AHA Design will take place on 25.10.

Visit: and take active part!

AHA Design on facebook –

AHA Design is an interdisciplinary design group set up by Marta Kowalska and Zuzanna Sprogis. Its statutory objective is to analyze what can be analyzed and to perform architectural research. Focusing on such issues as game competition and the effect of games on social life, they believe a well designed and intelligent game could contribute to solving many problems. This is why they are always eager to participate in various projects which could result in creating such games.

Kowalska and Sprogis invited Kasia Jagodzińska, a specialist in communication to participate in the project and to supervise the functional aspect of the game.



The Ploy is a young band set up in September, 2009 in Poznań by three musicians: Iwo Borkowicz (vocals, keyboard, bass guitar), Stefan Czerwiński (guitar, keyboard) and Andrzej Zujewicz (drums, trumpet, keyboard). The Ploy are not afraid of bold experiments, as suggested by the nonstandard distribution of roles within the band. Although it is a band of three, during their shows, The Ploy will use a vast range of instruments to create their unique, characteristic sound verging on alternative rock, pop and electronics.

The Ploy have been performing all over Poland. in 2010, the musicians released a self-recorded album entitled “the ploy”, which can be downloaded at: The Ploy are the finalists of the Jarocin Rytmy Młodych competition, after which they performed at the Gdańsk Juwenalia event, with a live show in the Polish Radio Four studio, and, finally, at the small stage of the 2011 Jarocin Festival

The band supported such artists as Fisz/Emade, Muchy, Myslovitz, T.Love. On September 9, 2011, The Ploy warmed up the crowd before the main act performed by Monika Brodka as part of the cycle of concerts organized by Red Bull atop a bus roof. The band also performed at the Red Bull Tourbus Before Party at Heineken Open’er Festival 2012 campsite and during Euro 2012 in the Poznań Fan Zone, as part of Poznań Alternative Energy with Gaba Kulka and Die Antwoord.


As part of the Westival visitors will have an opportunity to go on a tour around two newly built architecture icons of the city. Spanish architects Barozzi/Veiga will guide you on a tour around the Mieczysław Karłowicz Szczecin Philharmonic building under construction. In turn, Robert Konieczny of KWK Promes will present the Centrum Dialogu “Przełomy” building.


On the second day of the WESTIVAL, Książnica Pomorska will house a block of lectures conducted by

renowned architects, artists and architecture theoreticians, who will be interpreting the main theme of the festival and considering whether there is such thing as national architecture.



Ewa P. Porębska

Saturday, October 26, 15.00

Książnica Pomorska

Ewa P. Architect, architecture critic, the editor-in-chief of „Architektura Murator” monthly and the vice president of the MURATOR SA. publishing house.

A jury member of the 2013 European Mies van der Rohe Architecture Award; a Member of the Jury for the European Prize for Urban Public Space and a “scout” of the City to City FAD Award. A member of the Jury for the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 20082010; a member of the Architecture Museums Council in Wrocław. An active promoter of the best models in architecture – the author of numerous articles devoted to issues related to architecture (Architektura, Architektura murator, Detail, Baumeister, et. al.).

Ewa P. Porębska was a guest lecturer e.g. at AZW
in Vienna and GSAPP Columbia University in New York. She is the coauthor of several exhibitions, including “Warsaw. The day before” (Zachęta, 1998) exhibition concept. Porębska was the Polish curator at the 2005 edition of the International Architecture Photography exhibition “Form and non-form” (Luxembourg, 2005). She created the concept for and curated the “Poland. Icons of architecture” exhibition (CfCA, Warsaw, 2006 and other European cities further on), organized by “Architektura Murator” monthly in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ewa P. Porębska is the author of the concept for and the organizer of the cyclic LIFE IN RCHITECTURE competition awarding the best Polish building finished after the fall of communism. In the 90s, she co-authored a cycle of programs for Polish national television devoted to contemporary architecture (“Czerwony Pałac” was screened in 2004 as part of the Polish Season in France at the du Louvre Auditorium in Paris).

Ewa P. Porębska was awarded for her contribution in the development and promotion of Polish architecture with a medal of the Faculty of Architecture of the Cracow University of Technology and a medal of the Association of Polish Architects. In 2009, to award successful cooperation between Poland and the Netherlands, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands decorated Ewa P. Porębska with a fragment of the one hundred meter bench in Amsterdam designed by Claudia Linders – “Space to take place” is a gift for a thousand people all over the world contributing to promoting the Netherlands abroad.


Robert Konieczny

Saturday, October 26, 9.00-10.00 oraz 16.45

Centrum Dialogu Przełomy / Książnica Pomorska 

Robert Konieczny, the founder of the KWK Promes design office will be featured at the Westival in Szczecin in a double role: he will deliver a lecture and will guide a tour around his latest project – the Centrum Dialogu Przełomy Historical Museum under construction. Konieczny is one of Poland’s most appraised architects who can list a great number of publications in foreign periodicals. His trademark are single family houses, however each and every of his projects includes innovative concepts broadening the definition of a contemporary home.

On Saturday, October 26, Konieczny will guide a tour around the Centrum Dialogu Przełomy Historical Museum – a hybrid pavilion, which is a combination of a building and a square. Several years ago, KWK Promes architecture office won a competition for the design of this museum. Today, we can visit the pavilion in its raw state. Although a great majority of the structure is located underground, what we can appreciate aboveground is a characteristic, curved roof which also serves as the floor of the square.

The guided trips around the building will take place between 9 and 10 in the morning. To subscribe for the tour, please write at: Due to a limited number of spots, we will premium applications with brief justifications of why you would like to visit this building.

On the same day, in the afternoon, Robert Konieczny will deliver a lecture as part of the lecture panel entitled “Made in… national architecture?” The lecture will take place in the Książnica Pomorska building.

Alberto Veiga

Saturday, October 26, 9.00-10.00 and 17.25

Filharmonia Szczecińska / Książnica Pomorska



This year’s edition of Westival, The Art of Architecture will welcome a special guest – Alberto Veiga of Estudio Barozzi Veiga, the designers of the new Szczecin Philharmonic building. On Saturday, October 26, Alberto Veiga will guide 2 tours around the philharmonic building construction site. In the afternoon, he will deliver a lecture in the Książnica Pomorska building. The subject of the lecture will revolve around the leitmotif of the festival.


Alberto Veiga was born in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He studied architecture at ETSA de Navarra. After graduating, between 1997 and 2001, he worked as assistant architect at the Patxi Mangado studio. Between 2001 and 2003, he worked as leading architect at Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, where he collaborated to create designs of many awarded buildings. In 2004, he established a partnership with Fabrizio Barozzi, an Italian architect which has been operating under the name Estudio Barozzi Veiga.

Alberto Veiga teaches architecture design at Catalunya International University. Estudio Barozzi Veiga are the authors of iconic buildings, representatives of unique forms and typologies. In 2011, they completed the Auditorium and Congress Palace Infanta Doña Elena in Águilas. One of their renowned projects is also the Ribera del Duero Wine Consortium located in a historic precinct of the Burgos region in Spain.

In Szczecin, they are building the new philharmonic building, a tall structure with pointed roofs, which reflects the historic urban development of that area on the one hand, while making reference, through white, multilayered lining, to an iceberg or an expressionist dream of a cathedral of glass, on the other hand. The interiors of the philharmonic impress their visitors with the grand size of the foyer and … an all gold concert hall.

Hugon Kowalski

Saturday, October 26, 16.00

Książnica Pomorska  


Hugon Kowalski is the first Pole to receive the prestigious Archiprix International award for the best architecture graduation diploma in the world. An international jury recognized his diploma design titled “Let’s talk about trash” for a slum district in Mumbai. He will be delivering a lecture at the Westival on October 26! In 2011, Hugon Kowalski graduated from his studies at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design of the Poznań University of Fine Arts. Since 2010, he has been working at the University as assistant head of Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design. During his studies, Kowalski interned in many architecture offices, e.g. in Foster and Partners, Igenhoven Architects. In 2010, at the fourth year, he opened his own studio – UGO architecture, which he has been developing since. He is the laureate of 24 competitions.

Hugon Kowalski’s designs were published i. a. in Mark Magazine, AWM, OUTLOOK Magazine China, Spazio Casa Magazine, La Reppublica, or Newsweek Poland. In November 2012, he has been appointed a member of the Poznań Division of SARP.


Maciej Miłobędzki

Saturday, October 26, 14.25

Książnica Pomorska


Architect. Born in 1959 in Warsaw. Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology in 1985. Between 1984 and 1988 worked in an architectural co-operative. In 1988, he established the JEMS company together with Olgierd Jagiełło and Jerzy Szczepanik-Dzikowski. Since then all his activities have been connected with JEMS Architekci. Winner of the SARP Award of Honour 2002.


Katarzyna Krakowiak

Saturday, October 26, 15.25

Książnica Pomorska


Katarzyna Krakowiak is a sculptor, who uses various media, especially sound, to explore the limits of architecture; she creates large-scale installations involving existing city buildings or structures.

In 2006 the artist graduated from the Sculpture Transplantation Studio, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, under Mirosław Bałka, where she worked as assistant from 2004 to 2007. In 2013, Krakowiak defended her doctorial dissertation supervised by Mirosław Bałka at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.  Krakowiak prepared an exhibition curated by Michał Libera – a sound sculpture for the Zachęta building in Warsaw.

Following her project titled “Making the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great powers”, Krakowiak received honorable mention at the 2012 edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale; yet again, the project was curated by Michał Lib

The artist cooperated with Krzysztof Gutfrański and Andrzej Kłosak as part of the Ekspektatywa cycle (Bec Zmiana Foundation) in preparing and publishing instructions on building a space for listening (“Metaphones. Design for the ear”).

Krakowiak is the author of the “Radio all.FM” project she carried out in several cities all over the world (e.g. Jerusalem, Tallin, Mexico City, Wrocław), in which she used a radio transmitter to “borrow” frequencies from various radio stations and then to broadcast through a hidden transmitter to completely unaware recipients she would walk past.

Krakowiak’s works were presented at numerous solo exhibitions, including one at the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw (a Museums at Night 2011 event; the installation was titled “Who owns air?”) and one at Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków. In 2012, one of her projects was included in a group exhibition titled “Possibility 02: Growth, Shorthand” presented in New Yorkand complemented by the publication of the “Shorthand” artbook discussing the physicality of sound.

In 2013, Krakowiak created the “Chute” (“Zsyp”) installation for the “Turning FACT Inside Out” international exhibition organized, as the title suggests, by the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT). The installation was located in the main gallery building, which was transformed into industrial, resonating space extracting and amplifying the sounds produced by the building itself, its users and the city that surrounds it, making an impression of sounds literally “falling” onto the visitors.

Krakowiak is currently collaborating with Bojan Djordjev in the preparation of an opera to premiere in 2014 in Umea,Sweden. The piece will raise issues revolving around the concept of incomprehensibility of human speech. The libretto will be based on simultaneous interpretation.

Born in 1980, explores sculpture and architecture with the use of various media, notably sound. (2012) 13th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Common Ground. Solo Exhibition in the Polish PavilionMaking the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great powers curated by Michal Libera as part of the Venice Biennale has been awarded a Special Mention

In 2006 the artist graduated from the Sculpture Transplantation Studio, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, under Mirosław Bałka, where she worked as assistant from 2004 to 2007. Significant exhibitions include Who Owns the Air?, Galeria Foksal (Warsaw, 2011), Game and Theory, South London Gallery (London, 2009). Her works were presented in group exhibitions at, among others, KUMU Museum (Tallinn, 2011) and HMKV (Dortmund, 2011). In 2011 she has been working at the Studio Urban Interior Design (Department of Interior Design) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk (in collaboration with Jacek Dominiczak). Working with Krzysztof Gutfrański as part of the Ekspektatywa series (Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, 2010) she has prepared and published a manual for constructing your own Metaphones.


Filip Springer

Friday, October 25, 20.30

SARP Szczecin, 10 Mariacka St.

One of the guests of WESTIVAL will be Filip Springer, a reporter and photographer known for his architectural fascinations and his … obsessions. He documents endangered architecture, which he devoted his reportage book titled “Źle urodzone. Reportaże o architekturze PRL” to. His next publication titled „Miedzianka. Historia Znikania” made it to the finals of the 2011 R. Kapuściński Award in the Literary Reportage category and was nominated to the Gdynia 2012 Literary Award. The same book was also the finalist of the Nike 2012 Literary Award. His next book titled “Wanna z kolumnadą. Reportaże o polskiej przestrzeni” was released literally several days ago. Jumping over fences, meandering among hundreds of billboards, Springer traveled across Poland. In Silesia, he found an Egyptian pyramid, in Jelonki – a Pantheon lookalike, and near Warsaw a Venetian palace. In the meantime, he also defined a new illness – the pastelosis. His book uses word and image to ruthlessly describe the landscape of Polish city and suburban space

During the WESTIVAL, the author will not only exhibit his works as part of the “Made in… national architecture” exhibition presented in Trafostacja Sztuki, Center for Contemporary Art, but will also act as guest speaker. On October 26, the author will deliver a lecture, and this event will be a part of a larger block of lectures held in the Książnica Pomorska building.

Made in… – national architecture?

The question of identity is one of the most fundamental ones we have to ask ourselves today, particularly in crisis situations, when value systems collapse or fade away. We are now going through a turning point in our history, a point where the entire world begins to question its identity. Who am I, asks a rapidly growing crowd of entities lost in this postmodern, atomized world. Who are we, ask nations melting away in an ocean of global processes. Entangled in this network is architecture, a survivor of 19th-century revolutions, -isms, tempted by following ideologies. Likewise, architecture is facing the fundamental question of identity, particularly in the national context. Following the success of the international style, modernism’s global march of victory, as well as overwhelming global technologies or unified construction techniques introduced by international corporations, or ubiquitous exchange of information and permanent implementation of alien elements, is there any room left for national architecture?

In 1914, it made sense to talk about a “Chinese” architecture, a “Swiss” architecture, an “Indian” architecture. One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity – wrote Rem Koolhaas, the chief curator of the 14th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, in his opening statement.

In Poland, questions of national architecture have a bitter overtone, basing on our dramatic history and permanent interruptions in the continuity of development. It is a history of struggle for own identity, against the influences of annexationists, occupiers, imposing foreign styles onto our lands.

After 20 years of long-awaited freedom, Polish national architecture evokes only negative associations – with pseudo-manor lodges mushrooming in constantly dissolving cities, with sidewalks made of the same cobblestone everywhere, with concrete fences ornamented with baroque rocaille, with ubiquitous advertisements, and, last but not least, with spatial chaos and public spaces appropriated by private developers. We are witnessing the triumph of the “Slavic soul”, manifested through ill-understood freedom to “do what ya want” as well as the nouveau riche “keeping up with the Joneses”. Polish architecture is dominated by “copy-paste” design basing on duplicates of solutions we have already seen in the mythical West

In her drama titled Między nami dobrze jest, Dorota Masłowska uses one of her protagonists to make a shocking diagnosis: “Everyone knows Poland is a stupid country, poor and ugly. Ugly architecture, dark weather, low temperature, even the animals have all gone away, hiding in the forests. Bad programs in TV, unfunny jokes, the president is still looking like a potato and the prime minister like a marrow squash. The prime minister looks like a marrow squash and the president – like the prime minister. In France, there is France, in America – America, in Germany, there is Germany, and even in the Czech there is the Czech. Poland is only in Poland.”

ess is something to be embarrassed about. Patriotism was appropriated by one part of the political arena, which makes building our national identity even harder. Poles seem to be unifying only in their disappointment with Poland, in shared frustration arising from… the fact of being Polish. How do we build our identity then?


Patronage: The City of Szczecin

Organizer: Stowarzyszenie Architektów Polskich Oddział w Szczecinie

Organizational commitee: Board Members of SARP Szczecin: Anna Domżalska, Marek Orłowski,  Karol Nieradka, Tomasz Sołdek, Sławomir Wunsch

Director: Karol Nieradka (506 045 601)

Curators: Architecture Snob (Tomasz Malkowski and Marcin Szczelina)

Honorary patronage: Prezydent Miasta Szczecin Piotr Krzystek, Marszałek Województwa Zachodniopomorskiego Olgierd Gablewicz

Media patronage:  Architektura-Murator, Art & Business, Exklusiv, Sukces, Gazeta Wyborcza Szczecin, TVP Szczecin, Brył,,  Architektura&Biznes, TVP Kultura, DesignAlive, i Architektura w Szczecinie

Partner: Trafostacja Sztuki in Szczecinie