Paris or Moscow? Warsaw Architects and the Image of the Modern City in the 1950s

Oskar Hansen, Lech Tomaszewski and Stanisław Zamecznik, model of their proposed extension to the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw, 1958 (Source: Ciam '59 in Otterlo. Documents of Modern Architecture, Hilversum, 1961).

In 1934 architects Szymon Syrkus and Jan Chmielewski presented their plans for the future of Warsaw at the a meeting of the Comité International pour la Résolution des Problèmes de l’Architecture Contemporaine, a key Modern Movement forum (and the elected executive body of CIAM, the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne). Their plan for ‘Warszawa Funkcjonalna’ (Functional … Continue reading

Modernizacje 1918-1939. Czas przyszły dokonany – review

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This review was commissioned by the European Architectural History Network in 2010. ♦ Like a number of other exhibitions on modernist art and architecture, Modernizacje 1918-1939. Czas przyszły dokonany (Modernizations 1918-1939: Future Perfect) at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź opened with images of a society in revolutionary turmoil. In this case it was not Soviet … Continue reading

The Photographer in the Hall of Mirrors

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This is an extract of an long essay on the work of photographer Nicolas Grospierre. It will appear in a book surveying his practice that will be published in 2013. ♦ … Unlike painters or sculptors, architects do not work directly on their creations. They rely on drawing and occasionally model-making to act as a … Continue reading

Paper Architecture: The Columbaria of Brodsky and Utkin

Columbarium-Habitabile-Brodsky-Utkin.-1989.-Shinkenchiku-Competition-DHAUS-BLOG

 This essay appeared in the catalogue for the Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970-90 Exhibition at the V&A Museum in London in 2011. ♦ Architects in the Soviet Union experienced a strange premonition of postmodernism fifty years before its domination of the architectural scene in the West. The monumental classical style known as Socialist Realism which … Continue reading

Living Design

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This is an introduction to the work of various designers and artists that can be described as ‘transhuman’. It is appeared in Polish in Autoportret in autumn 2012. ♦ A series of life support machines were plumbed together in London over the summer. A heart-lung machine, a dialysis machine, an empty incubator, a mechanical ventilator … Continue reading