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

Poland's strangest square will change beyond recognition

20 of February '23

One step closer to the implementation of two more projects in one of the country's most controversial spaces. Next to the Museum of Modern Art, construction will begin on the Variety Theater building . Work on the Central Square development will also begin soon. The realization of the concepts that arouse extreme emotions will completely change this part of the capital.

Probably no place in Poland arouses such emotions. Three projects that have met with extreme public reception are being implemented in the central space of Warsaw. Defilad Square is a strange mosaic made up of remnants of the 1950s Socialist Realist establishment, including a grandstand of honor on the axis of the Palace of Culture, park spaces, exits and road junctions, a parking lot and a makeshift bus station. Serving both representative functions and a huge bazaar in its history, the square is one of the strangest public spaces in Poland with a still undefined form and function. No wonder, then, that the voices of critics, journalists and the public are particularly loud here.

Read more: Museum of Modern Art of All Poles

white box, black box


The controversial construction of the Museum of Modern Art, an edifice (depending on which position one takes in the discussion) that is modest though accused of being overwhelming in scale, at once too minimalist and too flashy, unnecessary and underestimated... will soon live to see its neighborhood. On February 17, the TR Warszawa theater began the next stage of the public procurement procedure for the selection of a general contractor for the building on Plac Defilad. Those allowed to submit bids in this proceeding were: Budimex S.A., a consortium consisting of Korporacja Budowlana DORACO sp. z o.o. and Przedsiębiorstwo Budowlane CALBUD sp. z o.o., Mostostal Warszawa S.A. and Warbud S.A.

Europe's most modern

The building permit for the theater building became final at the end of January 2021, paving the way for the next stage of the investment process. The bidding process is scheduled to be resolved in the third quarter of 2023. The building is expected to be put into use by the end of 2026.


The TR Warszawa building on Plac Defilad will be one of the most modern theaters in Europe. Designed by the Thomas Phifer & Partners studio, the TR Warszawa theater will include two theater halls (BIG BOX and BLACK BOX) with a total area of 2,500 sq. ft. (including the BIG BOX room with Poland's largest revolving stage and a modular auditorium for up to 700 seats), as well as educational rooms, an artistic exploration center, residency programs, an audio studio, a video studio, rehearsal rooms, including a reading rehearsal room, a spacious foyer, a restaurant and two bars.

I am convinced that the construction of the theater and museum building complex on Defilad Square will contribute to the cultural development of the capital, and that TR Warsaw and the Museum of Modern Art will be frequently visited not only by Warsaw residents, but also by visitors and guests from all over the world coming to the capital.

Anna Klammer, plenipotentiary of TR Warszawa's director for investments on Defilad Square

a mosaic of memories

At the same time, preparations are underway for a project to redevelop the square's slab itself. The new development of this space between the Museum of Modern Art and the Palace of Culture and Science has been prepared by the A-A Collective studio , working with the Landscape Architecture Studio , among others. The team's concept was among the five best proposals selected in an international competition.

Plac centraln

The concept for the reconstruction of Defilad Square along the axis of Zlota Street assumes that a place will be created in front of the Palace of Culture and Science for daily meetings of residents and organization of cultural events. A more intimate square will be carved out of the vast space, making the strict city center more attractive. The irregular layout of sidewalks and greenery will map the network of old streets and the outline of buildings. The lawns are to resemble the places where tenement houses stood. The remains of the old buildings were demolished after World War II to make room for the Palace of Culture and Science.


Plac centralny

The surface of the square will be made of 6 different types of stone. Designers have planned to reuse granite pavers from the Parade Square and supplement them with granite slabs from around the honor stand. The square will feature lawns with a total area of several thousand square meters. The project also calls for planting more than 40 species of bulbous plants and perennial species. There will also be 11 species of shrubs, as well as 109 trees such as acacia robinias, ash trees, gleditsias, dogwoods, pear trees, ginkgo trees and magnolias, among others.

work will start soon

Five bids were received in the tender, ranging from PLN 61.2 to 73.3 million. The Warsaw City Roads Administration has already begun analyzing the submitted proposals, and the decision should be made within a few weeks. From the moment the contract is signed, the selected contractor will have 60 weeks, or about 14 months, to complete the investment.

Plac centralny

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast