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An idea for post-industrial spaces. New life for Polish Optical Works

07 of September '20

In an effort to revitalize the degraded post-industrial space of the former Polish Optical Works in Warsaw,Patrycja Mroczek designed the Museum of Photography and Cultural Center. The premise not only introduces a new function in a part of Praga Południe, but also integrates its residents.

The project is a master's thesis written under the direction of Dr. Małgorzata Skrzypek-Lachińska at the Faculty of Architecture of the Gdansk University of Technology. The area chosen by the author is located in Praga Południe - one of the few districts that has preserved its historic character of pre-war Warsaw.

Widok Zakładów
Optycznych z lotu ptaka

urban planning project on a post-industrial site

© Patrycja Mroczek

Much of the district dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the interwar period. You can find preserved complexes of compact pre-war buildings - both residential and industrial. During the communist period, some of the largest industrial plants in Warsaw were located in Praga, such as - "Radwar", "Mera-Pnefal", "Polskie Zakłady Optyczne", "Bumar Soldier" and "PZL-Warszawa II".

new life for forgotten spaces

For several years, a number of new developments have been taking place in the areas of Praga North and South, changing the character of both districts, making these areas increasingly popular. Following this trend, Patrycja Mroczek has proposed an urban development on the post-industrial area of Kamionek between Minska, Kamionkowska and Grochowska streets. Currently, the area is largely occupied by single-story garage buildings, undeveloped and degraded spaces, there is spatial chaos and a lack of coherence of the urban layout.

Schemat istniejących

The author proposed to give new functions

© Patrycja Mroczek

The author'smain goal was to adapt the existing buildings of great architectural, scientific and aesthetic value to new functions, ultimately leading to the revitalization of the Kamionek area and the preservation of the history of the Polish Optical Works and analog photography. The author focused on solving social problems by improving the spatial organization of the area and creating spaces that integrate residents. The architectural interventions she introduced are comprehensive and serve to improve the quality of the space. The design part consists of a new building in the frontage - the historical place of the old building belonging to the PZO, together with an extension and adaptations of buildings that were on the municipal register of historical monuments in the past.

zagospodarowania terenu

site development plan

© Patrycja Mroczek

Museum of Photography and Cultural Center

The concept created involves the adaptation of existing buildings to: Museum of Photography and History of Polish Optical Works and Cultural Center organizing photography workshops, as well as the use of one of the buildings for office space and catering establishments. The author proposed creating a Rogatka Bazaar, creating small architecture in the form of canopies. In addition, this space, could be used for organizing events.

Elewacja od ul.

Elevation of the establishment from the side of Grochowska Street

© Patrycja Mroczek

integration of residents

In the northern part there is a public square with a large share of greenery. Between the buildings - a small atrium houses a garden for the residents of the district. The area of the next courtyard consists of modern pavilions with service and food establishments. The penultimate patio is designed to serve as an inclusive space for seniors and young residents of the district - there is an intergenerational café on the first floor of a multi-family building. In the summer, the main patio turns into a space for photo exhibitions, in addition, Patrycja Mroczek proposed a photoplasticon in the façade of the main building.

The project made it to the finals of this year's Zbyszek Zawistowski "Diploma of the Year" Award, the results of which will be announced in October. In addition to this work, the following have been nominated for the award: Iga Ostrowska with a project for a community development in Praga Polnoc, Tomasz Kruszyński author of the work titled INVISIBLE SACRUM , and Adam Grudzień and Iga Jagodzinska with a project for a craftsman settlement in Kashubia.

compiled by: Dobrawa Bies

illustrations courtesy of Patrycja Mroczek

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