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Adam Miziołek - "Murder on the Orient Express".

06 of June '20

We publish more student works selected in the preselection in the competition for a press report on architecture. We invite you to read Adam Miziolek's text entitled "Murder on the Orient Express".

Adam Miziołek - is a third-year engineering student at the Technical University of Lodz. He loves his hometown of Lodz and is not indifferent to the direction in which it is changing. In addition to architecture, he is also interested in history. Combining these three passions, he became a social guardian of historical monuments.

Murder over the Orient Express

"The New Center of Lodz is a project of special importance for the city, the region and the country. This bold project will be an urban time machine where history and modernity intermingle, creating a unified urban substance - an icon on the cultural map of Europe." - Excerpt from the information leaflet "New Center of Lodz. Just how?".

Five o'clock, a winter afternoon in a big city. It is quite windy. The clean and cool air helps to see the building illuminated by the harsh January sun. We are at the train station from whose platforms the first trains left more than 155 years ago, connecting the growing metropolis with the East, the eponymous Orient. In particular, with the Russian Empire. It was thanks to the opening to these markets that the thriving textile settlement revived, receiving an incredible opportunity from fate.

This year will mark exactly 10 years since the process of revitalizing the huge 90-hectarearea above the aforementioned platforms began. It began as usual. The mayor of one of Poland's largest cities and the ministers present at the site of the old thermal power plant started the concrete mixers. The assumptions were simple. With an attentive approach to matters of culture, art and identity, the degraded area must be renewed, its space made attractive to residents and tourists. To breathe new energy. This, of course, was to result in magnificent architecture and strengthen the metropolitan functions of the city, changing its fortunes.

Odbicie – EC1

Reflection - EC1

photo: Adam Miziołek

Knowing the original schedule and believing the announcements, a visitor may experience a shock. The quarter is dead. The operation turned out to be a murder. Silence, no killer in sight. How did this happen? Who is to blame? I invite you to look for answers to these questions with the hope that unraveling the mystery will not only bring relief to all those who feel connected to the victim. Above all, it will help save pieces of your cities from the miserable end of a post-apocalyptic desert.

Even before the New Center program began, the aforementioned train station, along with adjacent railroad areas, dominated in significance and area. It remains so to this day. All around was a landscape typical of low-intensity urban industrial and warehouse areas. An emptiness interspersed with old, historic edifices with a survival instinct stronger than their construction. A forgotten, gray Quarter, which you can - harder or easier - find in any major city. Under such conditions, the only existing object that could give or take away function, urbanity and life from the area was the Station.

Znak – zakaz
zatrzymywania się

Sign - no stopping

photo: Adam Miziołek

Surely you know that the first suspect in a murder case should be the victim himself. If no one was caught in the act, then investigators must rule out the option of a possible suicide with the greatest possible probability. In the case of the Station, this was an avenue that was about as likely as it was widely expected, given its poor state of repair and insufficient potential for High Speed Rail construction plans. But how is it even possible for a sprawling Quarter of a sizable metropolis to pass judgment on itself? What were the reasons for it, what was its motive? What was the murder weapon that allowed him to achieve a goal so rare, extremely challenging and almost always unintentional - to kill the city?

Taking a closer look at the protagonist, one quickly notices his new scale, alien to the neighborhood, his shiny steel character and his tough concrete suit. The suspect makes a good first impression. He doesn't look suicidal. He is put together, unnaturally quiet, calm, even cool in his testimony. He proudly points out where the potential murder weapon is located. A sprawling, multi-story road intersection pretending to be an attractive urban space has been stuck in the back of the Station the whole time. This multimodal junction, without civic control and against plans, has turned into a Gordian knot that will remain uncut for years to come. Has the quarter thus fallen victim to its overgrown ambition and scale? Or was it fatally wounded by the ragged wounds of a functional system that will take decades to heal? Whatever the answer, suicide is not out of the question.

Znak – droga dla

Sign - a road for bicycles

Photo: Adam Miziołek

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