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About the pavilion in front of the Bunkier Art Gallery in Cracow – the Gallery's response

02 of April '24

The discussion around the café pavilion in front of the Bunkier Art Gallery in Cracow is not quieting down. This topic clearly shows that actions in public space should be based on banners of principles and procedures involving both decision-makers, experts and users, because the quality of our surroundings affects the quality of our lives.

masywny pawilon przysłania fasadę wyremontowanego Bunkra Sztuki

A massive pavilion obscures the façade of the renovated Bunkier Art Gallery in Cracow

© A&B

A few days ago we wrote on the pages of A&B about a café pavilion under construction in front of the Bunkier Art Gallery in Cracow, whose form compared by some to a bus shelter or a bicycle parking lot has stirred controversy. Due to numerous inquiries about permits for the construction of the structure in the heart of the Planty, its form and the method of selecting an operator, the Gallery issued an official statement emphasizing that the construction of the orangery has not yet been completed, encouraging people to withhold their opinions regarding its aesthetics. It also stresses the desire to organize a public debate among all interested circles as to the architectural, legal and environmental chances regarding possible modifications to the project an idea that was born during a meeting between Gallery representatives and city authorities and representatives of the Cracow branch of SARP.

kawiarnia przed Bunkrem Sztuki

cafe in front of Bunker of Art

© A&B

We asked Bunkier Art Gallery director Delfina Jałowik about the details of the café's pavilion and its future functioning

Ola Kloc: The first major renovation of the Bunkier Art Gallery in over 50 years is coming to an end. What has changed?

Delfina Jałowik: The modernization of the Bunkier Art Gallery took 3 years. In the competition organized in 2016 for the reconstruction and expansion of the Bunkier Art Gallery, the winner was the project by KWK Promes Robert Konieczny. Based on the assumptions of the winning concept, the project was carried out by Biuro Architekt Kaczmarczyk. As part of the modernization carried out, modern integrated lighting systems were introduced, a new mechanical ventilation, air conditioning and heating system was built to ensure the required conditions for the exhibition of works of art (temperature, humidity, air exchange). A security system against theft and damage was built, and the quality of the building's structural and finishing solutions was improved. The gallery has also been connected to the heating network of the Municipal Heat Engineering Company in Cracow.

Ola Kloc: The café pavilion, which has been operating since 2001, will return to the Planty how was its design selected?

Delfina Jałowik: The design of the café-orangery was made by the entity responsible for the modernization project of the Bunker Biuro Architekt Kaczmarczyk. The project was directed to implementation after obtaining the position of the city authorities as to the possibility of developing the area in front of the Gallery's headquarters. Obtaining this opinion initiated the formal and legal procedure of building the facility. I refer to the Gallery's statement, in which all consents obtained by the Gallery related to the construction of the café are available: Bunkier Sztuki — Statement on the pavilion.

konstrukcja kawiarni przed Bunkrem Sztuki

The construction of the café in front of Bunkier Art Gallery

© A&B

Ola Kloc: The gallery building is included in the register of historic buildings in Cracow, it is also located within the urban layout of the city entered the register of monuments, in an area recognized as a monument of history and on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As a result, did the design and construction of the pavilion require additional conservation agreements?

Delfina Jałowik: After obtaining the aforementioned opinion of the city authorities, the Gallery applied to the City Conservator of Monuments for an opinion as to the possibility of the foundation of the projected building in the Planty area. Subsequently, positive decisions were obtained from the Provincial Conservator of Monuments and a replacement building permit. I refer to the Gallery's statement, where all approvals obtained by the Gallery related to the establishment of the café are available: Bunkier Sztuki — Statement on the pavilion.

Ola Kloc: Who will be the operator/renter of the shed for café purposes and how was it selected, what criteria were considered?

Delfina Jałowik: The operators of the Bunkier Café remain Aleksander Wityński and Jacek Żakowski, currently operating within the company Bunkier Café Wityński, Żakowski sp. j. The Gallery, as the owner of the building constituting its premises, was not obliged to conduct a formal procedure for selecting a tenant, while the current operator, pays rent for the use of the premises, the amount of which corresponds to market rates. Equally importantly, the Gallery, on account of the construction of the pavilion, did not incur additional costs in the course of the investment, as the costs of the design and construction of the pavilion remain with the tenant without the right to settle the expenses after the end of the lease.

Ola Kloc: How much is the rent, and how will the profits from this location of a private operator/restaurant translate into a public gallery?

Delfina Jałowik: The monthly rent for the space is PLN 55,967.87 gross. In addition, the costs associated with the construction and acceptance of the orangery are entirely on the side of the cafe operator.

The operator also covers other variable costs, such as property tax, the cost of all maintenance and repairs at the café in the space shared with the Gallery.

Rental income is allocated entirely to the Gallery's statutory activities (organization of exhibitions, events, publishing).

 Ola Kloc

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