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The historic stands of the RKS Marymont Stadium. Will it be saved?

02 of April '21

We could enjoy... The modernized RKS Marymont sports stadium will undergo an overhaul. The city council has granted the Zoliborz district funds to modernize the facility. And although the historic stands have been deteriorating for years, and the renovation has pleased Zoliborz residents, but the modernization plan raises doubts among architects and city activists. Will it be possible to save the historic form and architecture of the stadium?

To restore its former glory?

This news pleased residents, finally the RKS Marymont sports stadium will be modernized and it will be safe to use the facility to its full potential. For several years the district had been fighting to keep the facility in the hands of the city. Eventually it succeeded, and the city council granted the Zoliborz district funds for the renovation. The first stage of the work is expected to begin soon, later in 2021. It assumes the development of a concept for the development of the RKS Marymont site, and then, based on this concept, the preparation of design documentation. For these purposes Zoliborz received 263 thousand zlotys.

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Our goal is to restore the former splendor of RKS Marymont's facilities, so that it meets the expectations of both residents and associations and sports clubs, and to make full use of its potential," stresses Paweł Michalec, mayor of Warsaw's Żoliborz District, in an interview with local press

Former splendor and restoration of splendor, we have heard these promises more than once. But why does the plan raise doubts among activists? The reason is the second stage of modernization of the stadium and adjacent facilities - stands, locker rooms, technical rooms. It is estimated that the work will consume PLN 1 million 900 thousand. And although the work will be carried out according to the guidelines of the Capital Conservator of Monuments, and will then, by law, have to be approved by the Provincial Conservator of Monuments, the plan involves largely demolition work. However, how will demolition protect the monument?

archive photo photo

modernist architectural pearl

We are glad that the renovation has finally gained momentum. We especially hope that the long-needed renovation of the checkroom building will be carried out first," write activists from Miasto Jest Nasze.

However, they point out the protection of both the stadium grounds, but also the buildings themselves, the canopy and the stands. The building, designed by architect Stanislaw Barylski, recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. Delaying its pres ervation is definitely not advisable, it could lead to danger or even a building disaster and negate the effort invested so far to protect the monument.

The building was built in the 1950s in the spirit of pre-war modernism. The rhythmic, modular body of the grandstand is reminiscent of the designs of Auguste Perret - a precursor of structural modernism. Also noteworthy are the concrete cobblestone details. The modernist stadium is not only an architectural gem, whose revitalization is definitely not worth starting with demolition, but also a space needed by athletes.

Boxing gold medalist Ewa Brodnicka practices here. The only professional archery course in Mazovia is also in operation. It is also the place where the recently reactivated Marymont 1911 soccer team trains - further examples are given by activists from the City Is Ours Association.

The stadium today - photo:

"Demolition works" (to quote a text from the District Council's budget committee) should therefore not be such an urgent task, their implementation can wait (even to their benefit) in relation to saving the already alarming state of the building's structure, activists from MJN explain in a petition to Zoliborz District Mayor Pawel Michalec.

Together with sportsmen and residents of the district, they appeal that after the necessary maintenance and renovation of the locker room building and the roofing and stands of pitch A are completed, a debate should be held with the organizations operating here on the future of the OSiR Zoliborz area, which will become the basis for organizing an architectural competition.

We would like the main pitch to be made available to sports clubs after the investment is made, and we would like the plan to include an additional pitch with artificial turf, available on a more regular basis for amateurs as well. Currently, the license allows only a children's group to play matches on it, which is a drop in the ocean of the needs of all local clubs. The best proof was, for example, the Marymont Cup Tournament, where registration for participating teams ended moments after it was launched. - We read in the petition. The entire petition can be read here.

Photo by Sebastian Czarnecki

architecture is for the people

Whether historic, private or public, the human entity is integral to the functioning of architecture. Money from the city's budget for renovations and revitalization rejoices and gives hope for better functioning urban spaces. But managing them is a huge responsibility. When planning the modernization of a sports facility and a valuable monument, it is worth listening to the needs of residents.

Marta Kowalska

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