SkyscraperCity: architectural competition forum

Poland, 2011
13. aprile 2011
Photo 1+6 / Corte Verona
al. Pracy 2, ul. Grabiszyńska 214, ul. Inżynierska 47/51
Wrocław/ Poland
Architect
Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak / Cracow

Photo 2 / Piątkowska 116
ul. Piątkowska 116
Poznań/ Poland
Architect
Pracownia Architektoniczna Insomia/ Poznań

Photo 3 / Trio Apartments
ul. Stawki 2A
Warszawa/ Poland
Architect
JEMS Architekci/ Warsaw

Photo 4 / The Chopin Centre
ul. Tamka 43
Warsaw/ Poland
Architect
Stelmach i Partnerzy Biuro Architektoniczne Sp z o.o./ Lublin

Photo 5 / Wolf Marszałkowska
ul. Marszałkowska 1
Warsaw/ Poland
Architect
Kuryłowicz & Associates Sp. Z o.o./ Warsaw

Photo 7 / „At Scheibler's”
ul. Tymienieckiego 25
Lodz/ Poland
Architect
Marciniak & Witasiak/ Lodz

Photo 8 / MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art
ul. Lipowa 4
Cracow/ Poland
Architect
Claudio Nardi Architects/ Cracow

Photo 9 / Skalar Office Centre
Górecka 1
Poznań/ Poland
Architect
Pracownia Architektoniczna Ewy i Stanisława Sipińskich Sp. z o.o. / Poznań
What's more exciting than competition? Venture to say it makes the world go round. Especially exciting when has been launched among cities - complex entities, organisms  within internal  struggle. Competition encourages the pursuit of perfection, acts as a catalyst allowing to expose weaknesses, as only in comparison with others truth level of skills can be seen.
Corte Verona/ Wrocław / source Perfect Media
Within cities we are dealing with evaluable areas ready to compete worldwide. This can be the result of mathematical calculations as well as subjective observation. Many of these areas to a greater or lesser extent relate to architecture - an important component of city substance. Architecture – has always been exposed to the public view – playing a key role in 'image of city' creation. In addition to public transport services (related mainly to functionality), excepted green and public spaces, it is architecture that build up an memorable image. It consists of iconic buildings, characteristic shapes and elevations, skyline forming system of axes and towers.
Piątkowska 116/ Poznań/ source Monday Development
Architecture is marriage of functionality and aesthetics and therefore can not be assessed. The usefulness of the building is not difficult to verify, but its aesthetic refers to sphere of values already, and it is impossible to avoid accusations of subjectivity and taste - subject not to discuss. Therefore, in case of cities, aesthetics is not the essence of competitiveness. What counts are figures – measurable economic values that describe and create investment potential. In various cities, both numbers and quality of investments translates onto "performance". Consequently allowing to lead in rankings, raising living standards and prosperity of their inhabitants. The biggest problem is to measure this "quality". The true art is skillful balance of both scale and quality of investment. Sometimes  balance between functionality and beauty is unattainable perfection.
Trio Apartments/ Warsaw/ source RPR Group
Taste dispute take place on wide range of communication levels. Let's have look at preferences of  WWW users gathered around most popular investment and architectural forum in the world - SkyscraperCity, more precise Polish section – Polish Skyscraper Forum. If beauty can not be counted, it must be felt or understood. Indeed, architectural proportions are results of numerical relations known from antiquity. But we do not need to know the formulas to feel harmony of shapes. Sometimes one need  to comprehend to appreciate charm and simplicity of the most complex structures - after all, beauty of a mathematical formulas do not exist without its understanding. Concluding theoretical considerations, will focus on material results of designers and developers work – starting from subjective choice of a few large investments in major Polish cities over the past five years.
The Chopin Centre/ Warsaw/ photo Jeremi Buczkowski
Polish section of SSC forum devoted special section entitled "Miss Poland: Rate a Building. " In many areas Warsaw is leading, with such investments as Zebra Tower, ApartmentsTrio or Chopin Centre and Wolf Marszałkowska. Zebra Tower is awarded for urban planning, a bit less appreciated for its facade with golden stripes. On 1 to10 scale this building fluctuates around 8.5. According to SSC users higher level of architecture represents Trio Apartments – received lot more evaluations, including many "tops". JEMS Architects Trio design has also outclassed Zebra Tower in terms of interest and has been recognized as timeless. Chopin Centre is assessed from a slightly different angle – high notes are result of its power of regeneration and impact onto the area. Wolf Marszałkowska Office Building by Stefan Kuryłowicz was noted only as good one- likewise Zebra Tower, average grade round about  8.5.
Wolf Marszałkowska/ Warsaw/ source Publink
In Cracow, undisputed leader of "Miss Poland" is Polish Aviation Museum. The number of "tens" outranked, above mentioned Warsaw investments. Cracow's design is prised for its functionality, form and spatial organization. Slightly lower in the ranking is placed Court of Appeal, however, strong 8.5 mark shows the quality of architecture. One might say this is a solid Berlin piece, which in case of this type of buildings seems to be warranted. Although controversial, Museum of Contemporary Art is appreciated by majority of users for good incorporation of surrounding and elegant austerity of architectural means of expression.
Corte Verona/ Wrocław / source Perfect Media
In Wroclaw the strongest aesthetic emotions arised Corte Verona residential investment.  Bold, unusual block, colorwise reminiscent of Dutch architecture, brings a breath of fresh air to Wroclaw. Minor urban imperfections are unveiled by unique layout and loggias elevation. Among office investments Wojdyla Business Park has gained recognition with an average rating "eighths". A dark façade with a clear and repeatable color accent, good site layout and glazed facade warrants attention not only in businessmen eyes. Unfortunately, yet unfinished apartment Thespian, does not applay.There is a chance it will lead 2011 rankings.
„At Scheibler's”/ Lodz/ source Genesis PR
In Poznan Scalar Office Center was appreciated, but Law AMU Faculty gathered  true admiration. The greatest advantage of a Scalar is its simplicity and unimposing elegance,   reminiscent of a black limousine undistinguished from the crowd – often regarded as an advantage. Campus building is unique and different in many respects – praised for innovative solutions and contrasting with economic solutions of main structure , elliptical auditorium. Among office buildings big attention has gained investment at 116th Piątkowska Street. It accumulates what's the best in the world of architecture: clean and clearly defined colors, good use of space and friendly gabarits.
MOCAK - Museum of Contemporary Art/ Cracow/ photo R. Sosin
In Lodz,  Lofts "At Scheibler" has been the most interesting housing investment for the last five years. Appreciated for scale and form throughout whole Poland. Successful revitalization and world's trends chasing outshine minor flaws in superstructures and new part of the complex – criticized by SSC community. Also plagued by lack of promised tower details reconstruction.

Katowice can boast of team of multi-family housing development Millennium, which reminds of best Netherland designs. There are few such buildings in Poland - daring in its simplicity, impeccable form, strong shape and timeless. Large number of "tens" proves to be appreciated. Another example of correct architecture is Borsall apartments building. In this case correctness is not a downside of this investment. Often "average" quality, soft tissue filler without excessive ambitions, holding the level of  still lacking in our cities architecture. 7.5  average does not bring Katowice a shame, and good location adds to the building.
Skalar Office Centre/ Poznań/ source PBG
Finally - two Tricity investments with very different nature: Hilton Gdansk which perfectly fits the structure of the historic Old Town and Ergo Arena located in the coastal area between Gdansk and Sopot. Hilton designed in accordance with guidelines of Conservator of Monuments reflects townblock parcels' divisions. By reference to history and modern way of Old Town neighborhood respect it perfectly fits into Gdansk building traditions. Many forum members, however, hostile to historicizing architecture - hence spread ratings. Multifunctional sports hall Ergo Arena is a good example of how to without fireworks and functionally manage the space for entertainment purpose. Tricitiy definitely contributes to raising level of sport investments in Poland and this type of neat and aesthetically good quality projects are the best examples.

Once - or rather a long time ago - Polish Television broadcasted "tournament of towns", where smaller, nearby towns competed against each other.  These were sport events combined with all kinds of promotion and popularization of local attractions. This popular program had been hosted on TVP for forty years and always was a great opportunity to promote tourism and community integration. Today, "tournament of towns" no longer exists, instead of rankings, lists and charts based on statistics and published for a specific purpose – not just cognitive. Fashion in rankings hold on tight, because it is a great way of reality creation – tables, graphs have a good clout in the modern media and has become an effective and inexpensive advertising. Clever statements generating facts instead of reporting them, may be the trap. After having reading those it is desirable to make our own personal rankings – especially that "statistics lies" and relativism deprived value of objectivity.

Wojciech Prastowski 
Photo 1+6 / Corte Verona
al. Pracy 2, ul. Grabiszyńska 214, ul. Inżynierska 47/51
Wrocław/ Poland
Architect
Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak / Cracow

Photo 2 / Piątkowska 116
ul. Piątkowska 116
Poznań/ Poland
Architect
Pracownia Architektoniczna Insomia/ Poznań

Photo 3 / Trio Apartments
ul. Stawki 2A
Warszawa/ Poland
Architect
JEMS Architekci/ Warsaw

Photo 4 / The Chopin Centre
ul. Tamka 43
Warsaw/ Poland
Architect
Stelmach i Partnerzy Biuro Architektoniczne Sp z o.o./ Lublin

Photo 5 / Wolf Marszałkowska
ul. Marszałkowska 1
Warsaw/ Poland
Architect
Kuryłowicz & Associates Sp. Z o.o./ Warsaw

Photo 7 / „At Scheibler's”
ul. Tymienieckiego 25
Lodz/ Poland
Architect
Marciniak & Witasiak/ Lodz

Photo 8 / MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art
ul. Lipowa 4
Cracow/ Poland
Architect
Claudio Nardi Architects/ Cracow

Photo 9 / Skalar Office Centre
Górecka 1
Poznań/ Poland
Architect
Pracownia Architektoniczna Ewy i Stanisława Sipińskich Sp. z o.o. / Poznań

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