Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Skra - concretosis instead of a sports park among the trees

28 of April '23

When the competition for the development of the Skra complex was decided in 2018, the city authorities presented a vision of a sports and park complex immersed in greenery, aimed at all residents. Five years later, there is not much left of these plans—instead of greenery and water, there will be a sports hall and facilities for professional athletes. These assumptions sparked protests and accusations of concreting the park.

Skra Stadium was reclaimed by the city after a years-long court battle. The case was finally settled in 2021, and City Hall began cleaning up the extremely neglected area. Part of the cleaned-up area was opened, and there were announcements of modernizing the stadium, negotiating with designers and systematically restoring parts of the facility to use and making them available to all residents, including sports clubs.

competition from years ago

Koncepcja konkursowa

competition concept from 2018

© UM Warsaw / Aleksander Wadas

The architectural and urban planning competition for the concept of modernizing the sports complex was already decided in October 2018, without waiting for the settlement of the dispute with the RKS Skra Association. The designers were given the task of designing a training stadium with facilities, a recreational and sports zone connecting the Pole Mokotowskie park with Skra, and general development of the entire property preparing it for safe and proper use and for further investment works. The second stage included the construction of a second stadium.

sports park

Koncepcja konkursowa obszaru Skry

competition concept from 2018

© UM Warszawa / Aleksander Wadas

The work of Aleksander Wadas' team (the author's team consisted of Weronika Marek, Anna Odulińska, Aleksander Wadas) turned out to be the best. The jury appreciated the respect for heritage, the functional solutions for professional athletes, rugby players and other sportsmen using the facility, as well as amateur sportsmen, and the ingenious recreational program, while incorporating the sports complex into the entire open park program of Pole Mokotowskie. Attractive landscape solutions, compositional axes, creation of a water reservoir and preservation of greenery were also assets of the work. The project was well received not only by specialists, but also by the citizens and residents of Warsaw.


Nowa koncepcja wstępna

current preliminary concept

© UM Warszawa / BeMM Architekci

Five years after the results of the competition were announced, it turns out that the vision adopted and promoted by the Warsaw authorities will not be implemented. Why?

Further work on the winning concept was not continued by us, as I was not able to agree with the representatives of the City on the terms of the contract for the design work," explains Aleksander Wadas.— On the other hand, as part of the competition prize, I transferred the rights to the winning concept to the City, and it could have been used to prepare a comprehensive, multi-discipline design on its basis and subsequent implementation. I am not in a position to say why the City did not decide to proceed with further work using our concept.

new assumptions, new hall

One can't help but notice that the intensification of work within the Wawelska center, as the Skra site is now called, coincides with the approaching date of local elections. So what is Rafal Trzaskowski's team planning at the site? An athletics stadium with 25,000 seats in the stands will be modernized. Next to it, the previously planned rugby field, hammer throw zone and training facilities will be built. New and at the same time the most controversial part of the investment is the planned 6,000-seat arena.

I think the idea of having a large sports hall on the site is wrong for traffic reasons—it will generate additional car traffic, the need for parking, and noise," notes Alexander Wadas.

Similar concerns are shared by people involved in associations, who have sent a petition to Rafal Trzaskowski on the issue.

We strongly object to the plans to build a sports hall for 6-7 thousand spectators on Skra's grounds near Ondraszka Street. [...] We strongly demand the presentation of a concept for the development of the Skra site, which will meet not only the needs of professional sports, but also to a large extent the needs of ordinary Warsaw residents associated with amateur recreation and active leisure, and will merge Skra with Pole Mokotowskie [...]—an excerpt from the petition.

for professionals, not for everyone

The author of the winning concept from five years ago has similar observations. As Wadas explains:

The hall is not a function accessible to the general public. It goes against our ideas for developing Skra as an area that is accessible and open to all. In addition, the City's decisions to significantly reduce the water reservoir and locate a separate rugby field in the southeastern part of the site mean that a much smaller portion of the site will be an open park, and will simply become a complex of fenced-in playing fields. Also required is much more cutting of the existing greenery, which we originally wanted to preserve. We in the concept wanted the Skra area to have as park-like, public and open character as possible, and I believe that the current plans are not a continuation of these ideas.

To this, the petition's authors add the controversy over the financing of the sports hall, which City Hall intends to make available to Legia Warsaw for games and concerts. They note that this is financing from the city's infrastructure budget for a private entity. The hall is to be 1.5 times larger than Warsaw's largest hall of its kind, Torwar.


Such a large scope of previously unplanned investments also raises concerns about ecology and environmental preservation. As Filip Springer noted in his Facebook post:

As the director of Active Warsaw admitted at the spatial committee of the Ochota district council, SKRA will become one big construction site. Nothing of the current biotope will survive here. [...] Instead of adaptation to climate change—reconciling blue-green infrastructure with the needs of residents, we will have concretosis.

Springer further notes that such a vision for the investment is in complete contradiction with the recently passed Green Vision for Warsaw. Rather than bringing us closer, Skra's renovation will move us further away from achieving our climate goals.

Hala sportowa

The current preliminary concept of the sports hall

© UM Warszawa / BeMM Architekci

The petition is available here

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast