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Half a decade after the competition, construction of the Central House of Culture will begin

30 of June '23

Half a decade has passed from the architectural competition to securing financing for the construction of the "Creative Twarda" multi-purpose cultural facility. The opening of the Central House of Culture will have to wait up to four more years.

The Warsaw City Council has just increased the investment funds of the Śródmieście district, the allocated 111 million zlotys is expected to allow the implementation of the district's largest investment in 21 years. The new building will house the Downtown Culture Center and the Youth Culture Center. Several artistic studios, rehearsal rooms, as well as exhibition space, a cafeteria and an intergenerational meeting place for residents. A total of more than 9,000 square meters of usable space, more than 40 rooms and an auditorium with a stage and an auditorium for more than 350 seats will be built at 8/12 Twarda Street.

Wizualizacja domu kultury Twórcza Twarda

visualization of the Twarda community center

© Kalata Architekci | Warsaw City Hall

This will be a House of Culture open to all residents. Already people from other districts are using our offer. Creating a comfortable space for the various events already underway will allow us not only to increase their accessibility and attractiveness. We will also be able to optimize the cost of cultural events, for which we rented commercial premises fifty times this year alone ," says Aleksander Ferens, mayor of the Downtown District.

The design of the community center was selected in an architectural competition, decided in late 2018. The jury, chaired by Marek Mikos, deputy director of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning, selected the work of the Kalata Architekci team for implementation due to the high effects in the sphere of the building's functioning, both at the program level and the relationship with the urban context. The jury appreciated the idea of maximizing the use of the building while adapting spatial solutions to the different scale of the surrounding buildings and the potential of the site in the city's public space system.

Wizualizacja od strony Synagogi Nożyków

visualization from the side of the Nożyk Synagogue

© Kalata Architekci | City Hall of Warsaw

The form of the building responds to the different scales of the surrounding urban fabric, honoring the scale of the historic complex of the Nożyk Synagogue and the White House, providing the opportunity to realize public space in a flexible manner. Its shaping allows for an attractive perception of the building from various view openings. The project achieves programmatic goals through rational, thoughtful means, preserving and proposing a sports program conducive to the use of the building by users of the surrounding development ," reads the justification for the award.

Second prize in the competition went to the concept prepared by the design initiative, and third prize went to the design by Jakub Heciak. Four equal honorable mentions were also awarded to the teams AMC—Andrzej M. Choldzynski, Pracownia Architektoniczna Aleksandra Wasilkowska, OVO Grabczewscy Architekci and M.O.C. Architects.

II miejsce w konkursie

Second place in the competition

© design initiative

The designed building of the community center „Twórcza Twarda” is located on a plot of land in the very center of Warsaw in the quarter between Twarda, Grzybowska, Jana Pawła II streets, near the Palace of Culture and Science in the immediate vicinity of the Nożyk Synagogue. The community center will be built on an empty plot of land, which before World War II was filled with dense buildings, of which only the aforementioned synagogue survived. The surrounding area is now dominated by blocks of flats of the "Za Zelazna Brama" housing estate, as well as the over a meter high skyscrapers of Spectrum Tower, Cosmopolitan and Q22.

III miejsce w konkursie

Third place in the competition

© Jakub Heciak

We propose a new block subtly blending in and matching its scale to that of the synagogue and the White Building, amidst the existing lush greenery against the backdrop of tall blocks of flats and modern skyscrapers , the authors of the concept explain.—The designed building is modern but restrained, as the surrounding space is already very complex. It was important to restore the historical spatial arrangement in the form of the square in front of the synagogue and to integrate harmoniously with the existing buildings, the new development together with the square to the south and the proposed connecting walkway.

Projekt zagospodarowania terenu

land development project

© Kalata Architekci | Warsaw City Hal.

The construction of the community center at 8/12 Twarda Street has been in preparation for five years. In 2020, a multi-discipline project was created and a building permit was obtained for this investment. Thanks to the decision of the City Board and the Warsaw Council, the work has a chance to enter the next stage. By the end of July, the design documentation will be updated, and then a tender procedure is to be announced. The district authorities hope to select a contractor and begin construction work later this year. The total cost of the investment is expected to be PLN 136 million, and the completion time is estimated at the turn of 2026/2027.

Wizualizacja holu Wizualizacja sali

visualization of the lobby and theater hall—© Kalata Architects.

© Kalata Architekci | Warsaw City Hall.

Kacper Kępiński

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