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Bernadetta Budzik - "Architecture connecting cultures. Concept of a vegetable market on the Lusatian Neisse River".

06 of December '21
Technical data
Type: engineering thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Author: Bernadetta Budzik
Wydział Architektury Politechniki Krakowskiej

Dr. Bartosz Dendura

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture".

The premise of the engineering project was to create architecture that would enable cultural exchange in border towns. After a preliminary analysis of areas of this type in Poland, it turned out that one border that lacks infrastructure to foster contact between local residents is the Polish-German border.



© Bernadetta Budzik

Reasons for this state of affairs include the fact that it is a natural border - the river has always been a communication barrier. Despite the opening of the border in 2007, there are still many smaller towns and villages that are excluded by communication. Existing inter-river connections are subordinated to automobile transport. There is a lack of footbridges and bridges along the entire length of the Lusatian Neisse and Oder rivers. This is particularly noticeable in smaller towns with fewer than 15,000 residents and without connections to major transportation hubs. While giving priority to transit transportation may be beneficial in terms of international economic cooperation, it is a nuisance from the residents' perspective. This nature of land management also fails to create potential public spaces for communities on both sides of the river.

plan land useplan land useplan land use

land use plan

© Bernadetta Budzik

The design of the engineering work is an attempt to create a place for the integration of Poles and Germans, taking into account the problems described and referring to already existing schemes. Along Poland's western border there are numerous marketplaces and bazaars established in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the price difference and the development of Poland's informal economy prompted German customers to visit frequently. Localities on the other side of the Oder, such as Lubieszyn, Doluje, Wąwelnica, Osinów Dolny, are known as places with "Polenmarkt," Polish bazaars. This is a special element of the border landscape, on the example of which the history of changing Polish-German relations can be described. Border markets are still in operation, but the facilities where they are located are often neglected and deteriorating, with the result of discouraging younger generations of Poles and Germans from coming here. At such bazaars, one can still find "jaws" from the 1980s or individual tin boxes nibbled by rust.


functions of the market

© Bernadetta Budzik

After analyzing the above-described conditions and characteristics of the place, the design goal became a common space, which, referring to already developed mechanisms in communities, would create a modern informal market. The architecture of the bazaar in its layout and materials used refers to a typical "Polenmarkt". The patterns of places that had the potential for intercultural encounters were repeated, such as food outlets, places for children and stands for Polish and German vendors. These were supplemented with additional features, such as bicycle paths, viewpoints and a canoe descent. The location of the market on the designed bridge over the Lusatian Neisse River was intended to introduce additional pedestrian and transportation links between Görlitz and Zgorzelec.



© Bernadetta Budzik

The emergent nature of the gray zone seems to translate into the surrounding space. The architecture of marketplaces adapts to changing legal, urban or transportation circumstances. Spontaneously emerging marketplaces fill gaps in urban space, and are urban elements that escape planning assumptions. They are not guided by the city's long-term policy, and often do not pay attention to property rights. The most important determinant is spatial dynamics and how it affects the flow of potential customers. Markets form informal markets, which are often transitional zones, located near stations, bus stops, busy streets, and the relatively high population density that ensures regular customers is also important. In this way, bazaars become local meeting places, provoke inter-neighborhood interaction and create a sense of collectivity. They become important to the community, the immediate neighborhood or the neighborhood as a whole.

wizualizacja kawiarnia


© Bernadetta Budzik

As a symbol of self-governance and grassroots initiative, attempts by city authorities to violate this character are often met with violent opposition, as exemplified by the events surrounding the liquidation of the Defilad Square bazaar in Warsaw or Jarmark Europa.

Bernadetta Budzik

Illustrations: © Author

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