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The workshop confirmed that the transition is needed. New Iron Gate Square

15 of December '23

In 2021, a plan for the reconstruction of Marszalkowska Street was announced, including, among other things, connecting Zelazna Brama Square and Saski Garden with a pedestrian crossing. Two years later, the modernization of this section of the street was completed - the pedestrian crossing was not built. A few days after the work was completed, the City presented the results of a workshop, which concluded that the crossing must be built.

The reconstruction of Marszałkowska Street, carried out as part of the New Center of Warsaw, is one of the City's flagship investments aimed at bringing the capital's downtown closer to European standards of public space accessibility. In 2021, a concept for the reconstruction of the artery was already ready, including the connection of the Saxon Axis with a pedestrian crossing in the area of the Zelazna Brama Square.

Plac Żelaznej Bramy

Zelazna Brama Square

photo: Adrian Grycuk | © Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 EN DEED

The reconstruction of the section of Marszałkowska Street from Królewska Street to pl. Bankowy does not include a pedestrian connection. Officially, there was not enough money to complete this part of the investment. The city assures that it has left a reserve for the future passage. There are no tree plantings in this area, but lanterns have appeared, the location of which will probably have to be changed.

Schemat funkcjonalny ul. Marszałkowskiej na wysokości Placu Żelaznej Bramy z 2021 roku

Functional diagram of Marszalkowska Street at the level of Żelazna Brama Square from 2021.

© ZDM Warsaw

Undecided whether to implement the plans announced long ago, the City has instead organized another charette workshop. Following Teatralny and Bankowy Squares, together with residents a team from the MAU Architecture & Urbanism studio worked on assumptions for a project for the future redevelopment of the site. However, it is unclear when and if these plans should be expected to be implemented at all, since we are again starting from the level of a very preliminary concept. Such a revival in the production of concepts for the next squares, however, may be related to the upcoming local elections, where attractive visuals will certainly come in handy in the campaign. It is a pity that those used in the previous one have not been implemented.

Koncepcja Placu Żelaznej Bramy

Concept of the Iron Gate Square

© MAU / UM Warsaw

We are implementing the New Center of Warsaw program, which consists of transforming streets and squares into better urban spaces, greener, safer and more comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists. We decided that the three squares located so close to each other should be considered together. Therefore, as part of the design workshops, we first prepared a concept for the new development of Theater Square, then Bank Square, and now Iron Gate Square , " says Wojciech Wagner, deputy director of the Bureau of Architecture and Spatial Planning.

So what is the result of the workshop? Nothing extraordinary. The construction of the planned passage is necessary and residents want it. There are to be more trees and mineral paving in Iron Gate Square. There will also be space for meetings or sculpture installations, for a stage or fountain.

Zrealizowany fragment koncepcji Nowego Centrum - plac Bankowy

Realized fragment of the New Center concept - Bank Square

© ZDM Warszawa

Before the war, this part of the city with the Zelazna Brama Square and the Lubomirski Palace had a completely different character. It was densely built up with tenement houses and commercial buildings. It was bustling with life, commerce, culture, meetings, with direct access to the Saxon Garden - through the Zelazna Brama. The war destroyed this place completely. On both sides of this square, to the exclusion of it, was the ghetto - part of the ghetto boundary is marked in the pavement on the south side by Mirowski Park. It should be noted that there is no longer a trace of the former square, but its remarkable history should be recalled and commemorated. The Saxon axis, the history of the turning of the Lubomirski palace, or the Kosciuszko monument give the place an additional new identity," reminds architect Maciej Mycielski, head of the MAU studio.

Theparking lot near the Tadeusz Kosciuszko monument will disappear. According to the working concept, it is to be transformed into a representative and green space. Although the assumptions are preliminary, the interdisciplinary team from the MAU studio instead of a parking lot proposes quite precisely a geometric garden in French style. In its central part there could be a fountain. In the "green pocket" - north of it - the architects suggest setting up an attractive sculptural installation. It would be a model of the nearby Lubomirski Palace, partially movable, capable of being rotated. It would remind everyone that the Lubomirski palace stood before the war, including after reconstruction, diagonally to the Gwardia Hall. However, it seems that such detailed design elements should be the subject of a competition.

At the rear of the pedestal of the Tadeusz Kosciuszko monument, the architects propose a stage for theater performances, dance parties or intimate concerts with a view of the fountain and the Lubomirski palace. On the northern side of Kosciuszko and closer to Przechodnia Street there is space for a recreational clearing with picnic tables. A bench with a sculpture of "Fatty Josek" is meant to remind us that before the war a cult pub operated in a tenement building on Zelazna Brama Square, on Rynkowa (formerly Gnojna) Street.

Koncepcja placu Żelaznej Bramy

Concept of Żelazna Bramy Square

© MAU / UM Warsaw

A pond with a multi-generational integration space with seating, deck chairs, a recreational clearing, ping-pong or chess tables may be created in the central space of the square. The border of the green and attractive space of the square would be marked by a wooden pergola with climbing plants.

Koncepcja Placu Żelaznej Bramy

Concept of the Iron Gate Square

© MAU / UM Warsaw

The plans also include an "Iron Gate " installation - between the roadways of Marszalkowska Street. The concept for the changes to the square as part of the New Center of Warsaw will now be refined and agreed upon with city entities.

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast