Today marks two years since the death of Stanisław Deńko, an outstanding architect, visionary, wonderful man, for many — a Master, who is forever inscribed in the pages of Polish architecture. Still with great sadness, on the next anniversary of this irreparable loss, we remember Stanisław Deńko, who died on November 29, 2021.
Stanislaw Deńko was born in 1943 in Dobczyce, lived in Cracow from 1948, and here, together with American architect Glenn Lewis, founded the Architecture Studio Wizja Sp. z o.o. Biuro architektoniczne.
In 1967, after defending a diploma considered bold and experimental, he worked at the Institute of Urbanism and Spatial Planning of the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology under the guidance of and in collaboration with Professor Witold Cęckiewicz. Together with the professor, he prepared the winning design for the headquarters of the Polish Embassy in New Delhi.
Experimental Residential Complex - thesis The Estate of the Future for 40 thousand residents
designer: Stanisław Deńko
supervisor: prof. Witold Cęckiewicz
Tadeusz Kosciuszko Cracow University of Technology, project published in "Casabella" 1967, no. 312
photo: Stanislaw Deńko
He was committed, focused and with ideas. [...] There are fewer and fewer people with so many positive qualities: reliability and dependability, passion and talent, kindness to others. And absolute non-confrontationality, and modesty at the same time. That's why he was so well-liked by everyone — this is how Professor Cęckiewiewicz recalled the architect in a conversation about his college days and the beginnings of Stanisław Deńko's professional path.
Stanislaw Deńko during his studies at the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology
© Private Archive
He gained professional experience, among other things, by competing in major international competitions, including for the designs of the Peak Leisure Club in Hong Kong and La Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris.
Staszek was a visionary and was not afraid of such manifestations showing commitment to the view that architecture is first and foremost art, buildings are architectural works, and working on them is creative work requiring imagination, talent and vision — recalls Piotr Wróbel.
Grande Arche de la Fraternité, La Défense in Paris - the Grand Arch of the Fraternity
Authors: Stanislaw Deńko, Jacek Pencakowski, Piotr Wróbel
© Private Archive
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he headed the Academic Architecture Studio in Cracow, whose logo referred to the form of the aforementioned solid proposal for Paris' La Defense square. The APA gave birth to the idea for the building of the new terminal of the Balice airport. As Professor Artur Jasiński recalls, the studio was an efficient incubator of architectural entrepreneurship, from which many well-known Cracow offices originated.
Thanks to his professional attitude and personal commitment, the studio became a place of creative work, international competitions and ambitious architectural projects were implemented here. The charisma of the leader and the whiff of the big world made working on these projects an unforgettable experience for all involved. The APA opened up for students and young architecture students unusual for the time professional prospects and realization opportunities — recalls Professor Artur Jasiński.
Creative rehabilitation of a degraded part of downtown Cracow: the Old Gasworks in Kazimierz - 1st prize
Authors: Akademicka Pracownia Architektury SSP "Żaczek" Stanisław Deńko, Robert Kuzianik, Lucyna Matławska-Patyk, Michał Patyk, Wojciech Oktawiec, Piotr Wróbel
© Private Archive
In the 1990s he worked as a didactician at the College of Architecture at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, USA, and also taught at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts at the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Academy in Cracow. He held the positions of Architect of the City of Cracow and Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Cracow City Hall.
Working for his beloved City was his mission throughout his life — recalls Robert Kuzianik.
Stanislaw Deńko was the author and co-author of many Cracow buildings, including the Center for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA, the Auditorium Maximum of the Jagiellonian University, the SERENADA shopping center and the Alma Tower office building.
Tadeusz Kantor Art Documentation Center - Cricoteka
Authors: Vision and nsMoonStudio within IQ2-Group Consortium Stanisław Deńko, Agnieszka Szultk, Piotr Nawara
Photo: Inigo Bujedo Aguirre © Wizja
He was a total architect, involved in detail, in construction, understanding the material, and at the same time poetically handling it. Architecture was paramount, above commercial results, often against, which was very endearing — recalls Agnieszka Szultk.
In 2016, he was awarded the SARP Honorary Award for many years of outstanding work in the art of architecture and charismatic activity in the field of teaching.
The works of Stanislaw Deńko are spatial existential reflections. With the clear, beautiful language of space, they ask about Heaven and Earth, about Persistence and Passing. They seem to ask those important questions that architecture must ask if it is to be a humanistic field of art — emphasized the SARP Honorary Award chapter.
Stanisław Deńko with the Wizja office team in 2013.
We encourage you to watch a film created by the Malopolska Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland dedicated to Stanisław Deńko "Cool it was an adventure".