In April 2019, the Museum of Modern Art began construction of the museum section, the first stage of the project on Parade Square. The second stage, which, as it turns out, is the foundation of the project, will be the TR Warsaw Theater , which has just received official approval for construction.
the approval is final!
In July 2020, the theater applied for a building permit, which was granted. On December 23, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Warsaw issued a decision approving the construction project and granted a building permit for the architectural complex of the TR Warszawa Theater and Museum of Modern Art (part of TR Warszawa). On January 13, 2021, the decision became legally valid.
We are delighted to have received a valid construction permit for TR Warszawa, one of the capital's most important cultural investments in recent years. This is a significant further milestone in the process of creating a new center of Warsaw, a vibrant heart of the metropolis. TR Warszawa will be a modern, timeless facility that will open new opportunities for cultural participation. Thanks to the design solutions used, a space that is versatile in many functional areas of the theater will be created, allowing for convenient and quick rearrangement of both stage and auditorium spaces. The complex of buildings of the theater and the new headquarters of the Museum of Modern Art will be a friendly, accessible and safe place for Warsaw residents and tourists, open to Central Square and Swietokrzyski Park. The outdoor area included in the development will also become a popular place for meetings and outdoor events. We hope that the development designed together with Thomas Phifer & Partners will start soon and we will be able to say much more about it. - says Michal Sadowski, architect(APA Wojciechowski Architectural Studio).
Without the theater, there will be no New Center
Once the detailed designs and tender documentation have been completed, the next step is to announce and conduct the bidding process, and then start construction. The TR Warszawa investment is being carried out by the local government cultural institution TR Warszawa and financed by the budget of the City of Warsaw. The process of building the theater should be completed in 2025. It appears that in the current economic crisis, raising funds for the continuation of the project in 2021 is difficult, and without TR Warszawa, the implementation of the entire New Center project, without incurring further costs, hangs in the balance.
With its architecture, the building reflects the DNA of the theater's artistic team: transparency, mobility and the elimination of barriers, while the designers' vision fits into the historic fabric of the city.
In the design, the theater's facade is cast in heavy metal. A dark "shell" shields the interior of the building's stage area, protecting it from light and street noise. Teeming with life from morning to evening, the educational and educational part is equipped with façade perforations for windows and doors. The museum, as the one more active during the day, is light and bright in its form. The glazed first floors of the buildings add lightness to the masses and connect them to the life of the city. Despite the contrasts, the two buildings are united by scale, and the masses complement each other, creating a cohesive design.
Museum of Modern Art and TR Warsaw 2020 theater. A view of the forum between the buildings | photo visualization by Thomas Phifer and Partners.
The TR Warszawa building, designed by architectural firm Thomas Phifer and Partners in partnership with APA Wojciechowski and Buro Happold, houses two spaces that can host performances as well as film, music or interdisciplinary events.
In the design, the theater's facade is cast in heavy metal. A dark "shell" shields the interior of the building's stage area, protecting it from light and street noise. Teeming with life from morning to evening, the educational and educational part is equipped with façade perforations for windows and doors. The museum, being more active during the day, is light and bright in its form. The glazed first floors of the buildings add lightness to the masses and connect them to the life of the street. Despite the contrasts, the two buildings are united by scale, and the masses complement each other, creating a cohesive design. As it turns out, not only visually, but also structurally, the buildings could not exist without each other.
The interiors of Europe's most modern theater
The main stage space holds up to 700 seats, while the small stage located on the second floor seats 150 . In both halls there is the possibility of any configuration of the stage space and audience - depending on the format and nature of the event. The project envisages the use of modern technology, which makes it possible to change the repertoire, presenting theater performances of varying scale, but also concerts, film and art events, as well as the realization of high-tech streaming.
There are two gates leading to the main stage, from Defilad Square (soon to be Central Square) and Swietokrzyski Park. The 14-meter-long gates, which open at their full height, allow for outdoor artistic events. With the first floor transparent and level with the street, city life is the backdrop for theater events. The theater's foyer is meant to be a meeting place. It is not just a ticket office and checkroom, but an inviting space open to all. The upper floors of the building are a center for artistic exploration, residency programs and educational activities, as well as state-of-the-art recording studios and rehearsal rooms.
There are subway tunnels under the foundations of the Museum building, so many of the necessary functions are based on the solutions of the neighboring TR Warsaw. From level zero upwards, the buildings have completely separate functions, but they are also inextricably linked by a common access road. The theater's basement includes access to the Museum of Modern Art's storage docks (allowing safe transport not only of theatrical decorations, but also of works of art to the Museum's space), the theater's warehouses and studios, and an underground garage with parking spaces for people with disabilities, intended for use by both institutions. The co-dependence of the buildings at this stage may, in a sense, accelerate the construction of TR Warsaw.
We havemost of the technical infrastructure, e.g. for heat supply, water supply, sewage disposal, teletechnology, incommon. These are installations already being carried out by the Museum of Modern Art, so we - the TR Warszawa theater - will, in a way, join them, in the subsequent stages of the theater's construction," notes Anna Klammer, architect and director's plenipotentiary for TR Warszawa investments.
The conclusion is simple. The theater must be built.
The opening of the tender is not connected with the physical possession of funds in the account. This is a months-long stage of investment. Only the awarding of the tender obliges the investor to have full financial security. Since the situation on the construction market has now changed dramatically, we are updating the project's cost estimate and only then will we see what amount is needed to cover the theater's construction costs," says Anna Klammer, architect and director's plenipotentiary for TR Warszawa investments.
Therefore, the project should start as soon as possible. And for that you should keep your fingers crossed. I know that there are opportunities on the market. There are many companies interested in construction and cooperation, as the public procurement portfolio has shrunk, and we are one of the more attractive investments in Warsaw, prepared to start the next stage of construction. Together with the city, we are looking for effective solutions. Announcing a tender does not mean signing a contract, but instead involves a months-long process of selecting a general contractor. Therefore, it is not impossible that the signing of the contract will take place at least a year from now and will coincide with a moment when perhaps the city's financial situation will be better.
We are confident that we will find such solutions to bring the process to a conclusion. - Kaja Stępkowska, coordinator of TR Warsaw's investment communications team, adds. Suspending the entire investment process of TR Warszawa disorganizes the order of implementation of individual modernization and investment activities within the Palace of Culture and Science. We all care about changes in the city center and creating a metropolitan, but also functional, accessible and green New Center of Warsaw.
Museum of Modern Art and TR Warsaw theater 2019 View from Swietokrzyski Park | photo visualization by Thomas Phifer and Partners.
theater for the future
We are building a theater for the future, one that will serve not only us, but also future generations. The TR Warszawa building will be one of the most modern theater buildings in this part of the world and one of the few theater buildings that has been built from scratch in Poland in recent decades. This is a historic moment for our team. The search for a new headquarters for TR Warszawa has been going on practically since 1999," says Theatre Director Grzegorz Jarzyna.
And although in the age of pandemonium, culture has receded into the background, at such an advanced stage, any change or delay in the project involves huge financial losses for the city. After more than 20 years of searching for a new space, we see a light at the tunnel. A theater for the future will be built soon.