KWK Promes

A Polish architectural studio founded in 1999 by Robert Konieczny and Marlena Wolnik. The abbreviation appearing in the office's name is not only the initials of the founders, but also a reference to Silesia, where the architects come from (KWK means coal mine).

It has completed such projects as Dom po Drodze, Konieczny's Ark, the "Przełomy" Dialogue Center in Szczecin and Unikato in Katowice. It has been awarded many times - it received the 2016 SARP Award of the Year for the Museum Center for Dialogue Breakthroughs and the 2017 Wallpaper Design Awards for the best house in the world (Konieczny's Ark). The studio has also been nominated multiple times for the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize.

fot.: Marcin Gola © KWK Promes

Robert Konieczny

Architect, graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. In 1996 he received a certificate from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Head of KWK Promes office established in 1999.

In 2012, he became an independent expert of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation. In 2016, the project of the National Museum - Breakthroughs Dialogue Center in Szczecin was named the Best Building of the World 2016 in the international competition of the World Architecture Festival. This award went to Poland for the first time in history. The same project also won first prize in 2016, winning the title of Europe's Best Public Space in the European Prize for Urban Public Space competition awarded by the Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona (CCCB). The Designer's most recent accolade is the title of Best House in the World for Konieczny's Ark in the global Wallpaper Design 2017 competition. Konieczny has been nominated ten times for the European Prize of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation (for the Aatrial House, the OUTrial House and Open House, the House from the Silesian Land, the Safe House, the Autofamily House and the Living-Garden House in Katowice and the Living-Garden House in Izbica, the Centre for Dialogue Przełomy in Szczecin and Konieczny's Ark). He is the winner of the prestigious 2006 House of the Year award for his design of the Aatrial House, winning the World Architecture News portal's competition for the best residential house in the world. In 2011 Robert Konieczny received the annual award of the Minister of Culture, for outstanding achievements in architecture, as the second architect in the history of the award.

In 2007 he was included in the list of the world's 44 best young architects by the "Scalae" publication. In the same year, Wallpaper magazine ranked Robert Konieczny's studio among the 101 most exciting architectural offices in the world. In 2008, Konieczny was also the winner of "Europe 40 under 40" - Europe's Emerging Young Architects and Designers, awarded by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum, to the world's best young designers under 40. In the same year, the International Jury of the Museum of Architecture and Design in Chicago named the Aatrial House and the Hidden House among the world's best buildings. In 2009, the Safe House reached the finals of the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards in Barcelona, among the world's best projects, and the OUTrial House in the same year was shortlisted for the finals of the 2009 LEAF Awards in Berlin, a competition for the world's most innovative buildings. In February 2012, the OUTrial House became the best building of the Third Republic of Poland in an architectural plebiscite announced by Polityka weekly. This was the first competition of its kind in Poland, where out of 15 nominated buildings, the best building was chosen by the readers themselves. Konieczny is one of the most frequently published Polish architects abroad.

His projects have been featured in major publications, including twice in "The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture" and a series of books by the Tashen publishing house. In the book "European Architecture since 1890" by world-renowned critic Hans Ibelings, the KWK Promes office was included in the conceptualist trend and listed as the only contemporary studio from Poland that has contributed to the development of European architecture.

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