Mariusz Polski

Mariusz Polski

Delft, NL


Public transportation Accelerator

Modernism is one of most influential and independent movements in history of architecture. At the same time, it can be seen as one of most ignorant and blind minded, mainly because of its trailblazing character attacking tradition. Western Europe countries suffered even more from this believe, due to the socialist-realism interpretation of original modernistic manifestos. While in most parts of Europe modernism follows modernization, in the countries from under influence of Soviet Union, socialist-realism mutation of modernism was rather a tool in hands of the government to mentally trigger progress. Results of transformations, applied due to this spirit onto XIX century urban tissue of Warsaw, can be visible till now days. Setting up progress and modernity as an main national value, network of new transportation aortas was drown across destroyed city, with no relation what so ever to historical reminiscence and worked out across the centuries urban tissue divisions. 

Presented plot is one of those places where XIX century urban block was literally cut off by new urban plan, leaving piece of vacant land between blank wall and the street (pic. 01). Six stories high blind wall is situated right in the centre of the city, between office building and Holiday In hotel, creating a part of highly eclectic and aesthetically doubtful urban elevation of Jana Pawla II Street. Twelve meter wide plot seems to be perceived as worthless by investors despite its amazing orientation. It is not only located next to shopping mall, office business centre and some historical sites of Warsaw, but it is also standing for communication node of the city (next to the grand central and planed metro station) (pic. 02). All of those attributes can be easily transformed into valuable architectural that will stood for both, rebuilding place aesthetics and generating new value for surrounding area. 


In the broadest common definition, accelerator is a system or a device capable of increasing efficiency of other systems. On of the ways to achieve acceleration in physical systems is ordering and rooting flows depending on their specification, segregating, buffering and upgrading each item it the system before releasing ordered flow into the main stream. Same systematics can be applied while dealing with urban flows, their quality and efficiency. Correctly located local system can considerably affect city animation positive factor in global scale.
Presented design (pic. 03)  approaches problems of the sites, offering not only new aesthetic quality for the place, but also using its specific location to accelerate transportation efficiency within the city. Proposed structure contains two main functional areas. First one, located an the bottom of the building, open and transparent, is a orange ramp-shaped bicycle parking integrated with the city bike transportation system (pic.04). Second one is stack of independent container-like units, providing cheep sleeping and shower opportunity on daily basis for the less demanding travelers. Both functionalities were partly enclosed by simplistic building skin. Historical reference was achieved by both, extruded reduced shaped on a historical building as straightforward connection and alien contradiction of main facade, designed as an partial, cross-section like division. This solution was meant to underline discontinuity and sudden ending of existing form, showing that a part of original building is missing, and what is left, is literally cut along the new urban division line. This cutting line was used in the design to reveal surprising, aesthetically, etheric and contemporary insides of the building (pic. 03).

Strict centre of Warsaw; around Palce of Culture and main railway station; is dedicated to nobody. Insufficient roads grid and not enough parking spaces makes it very problematical to communicate to, and from downtown, by car. Small number of bicycle and pedestrian paths, not enough small architecture and green areas make it uneasy and unpleasant to go by foot or drive a bicycle. As far as every architect, urbanist, and member of the city council has his own view on for whom the city centre should be, there is still no decision which way should we go, what improvements must be undertaken.
Presented proposal suggest to close the city centre for private cars as to make space and good conditions for pedestrians and cyclists - to give back the heart of Warsaw its personal look, real flow. People in cars just drive through while people walking or driving by bike must stop, need a drink, meet with friends - they are not just commuters, they are real citizens, animators of their habitat, performers of action. Accelerator makes it easier for them to use Warsaw. Because it is rather informal (to hop-in, hop-out), Accelerator can be used by more people in shorter amount of time; it reflects fast pulse of the city.

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Status: School Project
Location: Warsaw, PL


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