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Krakow's "Archibuble" announced!

08 of February '22

A parking lot with places without road access, double-sized additions on historic tenements, rooms next to a high voltage pole or a playground that would make a stay at the resort from the movie Sentenced to Shawshank seem like a vacation. All of these buildings competed for the title of Krakow's "ArchiBubel."

majestatyczny plac zabaw przy ulicy Bożego Ciała 29

The majestic playground at 29 Bożego Ciała Street

© Ulepszamy Kraków Association

The Ulepszamy Kraków Association organized the "ArchiBubel" plebiscite, the purpose of which was to select by voters the most prominent example of pat-development in Kraków. The organizers are trying to draw attention to the problem of the abysmal quality of many investments, often approaching pathological phenomena.

The association asked residents to send in submissions in late December. As they themselves claim, they received hundreds of messages - including not only completed developments, but designed buildings and changes or proposals in Local Area Plans. The organizers emphasize that they are now focusing primarily on completed or highly advanced construction projects. Each site was visited by them personally.

Twelve buildings were nominated for the title of "ArchiBubel" and could be voted for on the website run by the association.

miejsca parkingowe bez dostępu do drogi

Parking spaces without road access

© We Improve Krakow Association

voting results

The number of votes can impress. 18,116 votes were cast in the poll. The multi-family building at 34 Grottgera Street was considered the largest "ArchiBubel". In this unique realization, the windows of the apartments parallel to each other are separated by about two meters of distance. The building's success is due to its previous fame. Photos of the realization circulated on the Internet, along with jokes about borrowing sugar from a neighbor through the window. The building won 5979 votes, leaving the other realizations behind. The Ingarden&Ewý studio was responsible for the project.

zwycięzca plebiscytu — budynek przy ulicy Grottgera 34,

The winner of the plebiscite - the building at 34 Grottgera Street (designed by Ingarden&Ewý).

© Ulepszamy Kraków Association

Second place went to the building on the estate of Dywizjonu 303 20 and 20A, which is only a few meters away from a high voltage pole - creating the perfect place for those craving an adrenaline rush. The building won 3917 votes. Third place went to the building at 57 Centralna St. Here a small single-family house was practically absorbed by a newly constructed multi-family building. The realization received 1590 votes.

 linia wysokiego napięcia na osiedlu Dywizjonu 303 20 i 20a

High-voltage line in the housing estate of Dywizjonu 303 20 and 20a

© Ulepszamy Kraków Association

What's in the future?

, "Archibubel" is a response to the lack of certain qualities in public space. What is missing in it, and what is too much in it.

The huge interest in our plebiscite shows that the problem is very important to residents. Many investments boil down to packing as much usable and residentialspace on a plot as possible at the lowest possible cost. It is natural that private companies are driven by the desire for profit. However, somewhere the boundaries should lie. Excel tables cannot be the sole determinant of what our city should look like. I have a feeling that a certain critical mass has already been exceeded and it will become increasingly difficult for the authorities to ignore the problem. With our action we want to mobilize decision-makers to change the law," replies Krzysztof Kwarciak from the association Ulepszamy Kraków.

What will the future of the plebiscite look like? The organizers foresee further development of the action and hope that it will bring results in improving public space and minimizing the problem of so-called architectural blunders.

The announcement of the results does not end our campaign. Now we will check how it happened that the ,,ArchiBubbles" received building permits. Therefore, we will request documentation from the magistrate's office related to the procedure of these decisions. Finally, we plan to present proposals to change the law and city procedures. We have not yet decided whether our campaign will continue in future years. We will consider developing this formula to a nationwide scale. However, it would be nice if there was no need to organize such actions," reveals Krzysztof Kwarciak.

All nominations can be seen on the organizer's website.

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

The vote has already been cast