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A new, inferior version of Warsaw Insurgents' Square

05 of August '22

Warsaw has boasted the start of construction of an underground parking garage under Powstańców Square. The closer one looks at the details, the more the flagship project begins to resemble a spatial misunderstanding. In the face of the climate (and budget) crisis, should such investments be built at all?

luxury for cars

wizualizacja placu

photo. lapstudio / um warszawa

The parking lot under Powstańców Warszawy Square will be implemented as a public-private partnership. The concessionaire, the IMMO Park Warsaw company, will finance the cost of the prking investment - estimated at approx. PLN 85 million - and will operate the parking lot for 36 years. After that time, the facility will be handed over to the City. In this format, the company has built, among other things, a parking lot under the Nowy Targ square in Wroclaw - one of the symbols of Polish concourse. Construction work in Warsaw will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022. The parking lot is expected to be operational in late 2024 and early 2025. It will have 4 floors and accommodate 420 parking spaces. Its design was prepared by LAPstudio. The cost of one parking space will thus be about 200 thousand zlotys. Is this a luxury that Warsaw can afford? And in the face of the climate crisis, do we need to invite 400 cars into the very center of the city?

Revitalization, but not quite

Plan placu

photo. mau mycielski / um warszawa

The project will also include Phase I of the revitalization of Pl. Powstańców Warszawy. The city will have to pay for the rest - the concessionaire will reconstruct only the part concerning the parking lot. Most of the so-called "small architecture" elements (benches, baskets) and greenery that currently exist there will be reused. All in accordance with the guidelines of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning of the Warsaw City Hall.


Wcześniejszy projekt

previously presented project of the square

photo. mau mycielski / um warszawa

The city's guidelines were drawn up on the basis of agreements reached with Var sovians. However, the latter may feel disappointed, because with the announcement of the start of construction, new visualizations were also shown, which differ from the previously presented visions by MAU Mycielski Architecture & Urbanism. The layout of the square, alleys and planned buildings has changed. The tall greenery and cafe pavilion have disappeared. Instead, a few not very attractive booths appeared, and exactly in the axes of Warecka and Moniuszki streets. The planned buildings are in complete disconnection with the existing subway infrastructure. Unfortunately, instead we get a chaos of kiosks in the representative square of the center of the capital.

disappearing trees?

Wizualizacja placu

photo. lapstudio / um warszawa

Trees located in the area before the start of construction, according to City Hall's announcements, will be taken away and eventually planted in the road strip of Jagiellońska Street. However, once construction is completed, the contractor will plant new trees in Powstańców Square at its own expense. However, it is in vain to look for them on the square's slab itself - that is, where they were previously present on all visualizations and projections presented by the city. The bulk of the square will be a treeless wilderness filled with low greenery in places and a large green space in the middle. Internet users calculate that, relative to earlier graphics, some 30-50 trees are missing from the latest visualizations.

never ending story

Wizualizacja placu

photo. lapstudio / um warszawa

Perhaps the disappearing elements will return, as they are accustomed to in Warsaw - as part of the next fixes and improvements. As in the earlier arrangement of the same square when greenery was forgotten and colorful pots were quickly put up, or in the square in front of the Zodiak Pavilion, where a bicycle rack forgotten for several years was pompously opened by the vice-president of the capital.

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast