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Old February 16th, 2016, 07:39 AM   #2481
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Originally Posted by Mruczek View Post
No, comparing to most of CE cities - it doesn't. Budapest or Praha have "many historic areas". Warsaw have one reconstructed historic area
I was walking to the Pawia Prison location and met a Chinese tourist with his camera - standing amongst the commi blocks. I said what are you doing here? The tourist centre is miles from here. He said "I may look like a stupid tourist - but I know history when I see it. If i can't see it - I can feel it."


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And actually the only area built according to masterplan in Warsaw in the last 25 years, Miasteczko Wilanów, is the main mocking object for our journalists and equally moronic "architecture critics"
The worst idea for a city is a Masterplan.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 07:50 AM   #2482
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No, comparing to most of CE cities - it doesn't. Budapest or Praha have "many historic areas". Warsaw have one reconstructed historic area (with buildings to ca. 1830) surrounded by the sea of commieblocks. It simply doesn't have 19th (or even 20th) century proper city centre. Deal with it.
Seems that your definition of history is limited to the 18th and 19th century, European perimeter blocks ad infinitum defining squares, vistas framed by charming landmarks. People need to deal with the fact that those commie blocks in the city centre are historic, and combined with socreal and "historic" it creates a unique authentic Warsaw narrative. Efforts to define street edges with infill to add life to the streets will make for a more enjoyable, coherent and predictable urban experience or as Kevin Lynch called it "imageability."

btw, Warsaw has more than one historic area, there is south downtown (srodmiescie poludniowe) with 55 city blocks of mostly historic, mokotow, ochota, KP and old town are often referred to by Poles disparagingly as reconstructions. I consider them to be reassemblies of Warsaw's history with authentic Gothic basements. The real thing is gone, but with this left, let's deal with it and love it or leave it.

I'm not saying there are more landmarks in Warsaw than Paris, what I am saying is that to a tourist, educated or not, there is lots to see in Warsaw, it's fascinating. Accept it, it's pretty remarkable. I actually know Paris better than Warsaw. I got intensively acquainted with greater Warsaw just last year.
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Warsaw Post-War Reconstruction to Present

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Old February 16th, 2016, 07:51 AM   #2483
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I think someone should write a philosophy paper on whether Warsaw is beautiful.
Beautiful :-

1. having, possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, delighting the senses or mind...
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Old February 16th, 2016, 07:54 AM   #2484
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The worst idea for a city is a Masterplan.
I agree, masterplans are a waste of time, by the time it's finished, the world has changed and it's irrelevant. I'm an advocate of form-based planning and some basic principles underpinning planning like historic preservation, mixed use, transit, amenity standards...

The best plan is the one that meets the needs of as many stakeholders at this time and is affordable and sustainable. If a developer won't build what planners want, it's because the planner didn't do his work correctly...etc.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 01:15 PM   #2485
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But why should people deal with commieblocks, as if they're something special and specific only for Warsaw? Look at Berlin, Belgrade, or dozens of instant-cities in China, they all have commieblocks. Commies don't make Warsaw special, what's special is amount of them. And after all, that Chinese tourist will leave the city after few days but Varsovians are stuck with their city pretty much every day. Now, I don't know how they feel about them or if they hate them, but it should be their decision whether they want to take Warsaw to a whole new level, the same thing that happened after WW2, or if they want to continue with those infills in the middle of a commieblock area (totally wrong for me, it's basically collision of two different ideologies and two different urbanist ideas). I'm not advocating a large-scale demolition program which will wipe every cheap commieblock in the city. It has to come natural, just like in London, for instance, where people become able to move away to some better area with better buildings so the 60s and 70s neighbourhoods become empty. Warsaw is the capital of a growing European country and it's in different position than, let's say, Prague, Vienna, Zagreb etc. It must decide what it wants to (urbanistically) be to be able to offer a good lifesyle for its citizens. And after all, citizens are all that matters.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 08:02 PM   #2486
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Warsaw is not 'messy'? It is Eclectic. Variety is the spice of life – and is interesting.
That applies to most large cities in Europe. Provided that your knowledge of them is not restricted to all-inclusive-6-hour package tour "visit Paris/visit Prague/visit Munich". Then, yes, they might be perceived as boring, tourist-targetted living skansens.

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Warsaw has something for all tastes and expectations and is realistic.
That applies to most large cities in Europe. Provided that your knowledge... etc.

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It is far from perfect but most cities are not perfect. Warsaw is a genuine city which is developing organically - and not planned by a few people.
That applies to most large cities in Europe. Provided that your knowledge... etc.

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The old town, Kings way, Praga, southern Warsaw/Mokotow/old Ochota for the traditional old pre-war streets, Central and Wola district for the modern business/skyscraper scene, Muranow, Ursus areas for those who want to get away from the damp, dark cramped old buildings and prefer modern living with space, sunlight, air, some of the best parks in Europe, cycle paths, a beach in summer, skiing in winter and Warsaw has just only started to rebuild.
That applies to most large cities in Europe. Provided that your knowledge... etc.

Only the names are slightly different.

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A successful city has to be for ALL people. Warsaw is a city for ALL people - not just for the OCD perfectionists. A city is made of people first - buildings second.
Provided that they are young, fit and healthy. Otherwise they might have small problems crossing the streets in the centre and stay alive

If one dares to call Marszałkowska runway or Jerozolimskie runways "the streets".

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The commi-blocks, although unwanted, provide an opportunity for low income people to live in the centre.
Social housing is not the invention of the communists, although they did a lot to convince people otherwise.

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Places like Krakow. Prague, Paris, although pretty are living museums and not so practical. They have narrow streets, congestion and are limited to development and will not change much. Looking pretty is not the only requirement for a successful city.
If your knowledge of Kraków and Praha is restricted to all-inclusive-6-hour package tour then they might look limited to development.

Praha is among the fastests developing cities in the CEE, while Cracow is probably the second after Warsaw when volume of housing or office space is considered.

Although I should admit that Kraków's development is also being done withing the frame of city "planning" like in Warsaw: randomly thrown gated communities, office parks and large supermarkets. With God's and especially Mary's (Full of Grace) help - maybe even some roads now and then

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Yes we all know - but the point applies to you. Considering 70 years ago Warsaw did not exist - and was rebuilt in 50 years by communist dictators - what do you expect?
Maybe not to compare itself with Praha, that Czech's one, for a start

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Originally Posted by FreeeSpirit View Post
I was walking to the Pawia Prison location and met a Chinese tourist with his camera - standing amongst the commi blocks. I said what are you doing here? The tourist centre is miles from here. He said "I may look like a stupid tourist - but I know history when I see it. If i can't see it - I can feel it."
I rather suspect that he read about Pawiak in the guide, but he was too polite to admit it

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The worst idea for a city is a Masterplan.
You could have made career in Warsaw Town Hall 20 years ago or so

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Seems that your definition of history is limited to the 18th and 19th century, European perimeter blocks ad infinitum defining squares, vistas framed by charming landmarks.
No. What you've presented is OK, that's option 1. But city can be also the option 2: erstwhile nightmare of 19th century capitalism: army-barrack-like ugly and dense rent-houses with skyscrapers stealing every beam of sunshine.

Warsaw City Center is neither of them. Reasons for that aside.

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People need to deal with the fact that those commie blocks in the city centre are historic, and combined with socreal and "historic" it creates a unique authentic Warsaw narrative.
Yes, and this is ugly narrative and disgusting narrative. Deal with it. Not the reason to claim larger liveability than in normal European city.

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Efforts to define street edges with infill to add life to the streets will make for a more enjoyable, coherent and predictable urban experience or as Kevin Lynch called it "imageability."
Either you don't understand the meaning of "infill" or you don't know the Warsaw city centre.

North of Jerozolimskie, west of Marszałkowska there are hardly any areas where more than 2-3 pre war rent-houses can be seen together (yes, yes, there's Miedziana and Pańska, our alibi against all the critics). Therefore, there is neither possibility to make an "infill" into the non-existing jaw, nor any investors' efforts to do it. Most of investments in Warsaw Central Financial District are alone, single buildings, ignoring context either because there's no context whatsoever, or because architect f***s the context on purpose. Or both.

In fact, there used to be (although it's hardly seen any longer) other ways of restoring buildings in Warsaw long time ago, soon after the war. From the piece of the one side of the street, consisting of, say, 10 plots of land (of which just 1 building actually survived), the new building in 1950s was being build, 90% of which was the new structure and 10% was partially refurbished and adapted that single one original structure.

But that ain't "infill", that is jaw transplant

What you're mentioning about infills is working indeed in cities of Poland which were seriously damaged by the war, but maintained some of the original street grid and at least some buildings, to which the next (new) building might be sticked.

I.e. Wrocław (Ołbin, Bermuda Triangle, Old Town), Poznań (Wilda, Old Town), Szczecin, Gdańsk and Łódź (here's much worse).

Actually the only two big cities in Poland that are extremely poor in having "infills" are Cracow and Warsaw. Cracow, as it lost less than 5% of buildings in central area. And Warsaw, as it preserved less than 5%.

So, yes, the Warsaw streets in the Centre will be more liveable, they actually are starting to look like streets now and then, but it can be hardly considered restoring the original city fabric. That is possible all right in Praga district, Centre South, Ochota or Mokotów, but not in the Centre proper.

[QUOTE=Urbanista1;130749758]btw, Warsaw has more than one historic area, there is south downtown (srodmiescie poludniowe), mokotow, ochota/QUOTE]

Centre South, Mokotów and Ochota are quite normal 20th century city. The most of European cities are made of that stuff. Would you call the centre of Brussels/Stockholm/Helsinki (outside the oldest parts) "historic areas"? President, please

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Originally Posted by Urbanista1 View Post
I'm not saying there are more landmarks in Warsaw than Paris, what I am saying is that to a tourist, educated or not, there is lots to see in Warsaw, it's fascinating. Accept it, it's pretty remarkable. I actually know Paris better than Warsaw. I got intensively acquainted with greater Warsaw just last year.
And you still claim not to know what's urbanistyka łanowa?

Anyway, you shouldn't have done it. What was seen, cannot be unseen

And don't look down why approaching to landing at Okęcie because you'll understand in a minute all the pathologies of Masovia's agriculture. Unless it's cloudy and misty, which is often

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But why should people deal with commieblocks, as if they're something special and specific only for Warsaw? Look at Berlin, Belgrade, or dozens of instant-cities in China, they all have commieblocks. Commies don't make Warsaw special, what's special is amount of them.
Not the amount in the city itself, but the amount in the city centre. Actually the amount of commieblocks in the outskirts in Warsaw is relatively low and they are the smallest problem. What make Warsaw's outskirts among the most hideous in the EU is terrible chaos, widespread moronic low-end investments, lots of old, poor huts (completely devoid of any charm), horror of dangerous ancient pseudo-motorway-like roads, aggressive outdoor plus two things which are really impossible to change: sad flat Masovian landscape + typical Northern brace-yourself-the-rain-wind-and-depression-is-coming weather.

Actually the further from these roads, the better it gets. Maybe that's the way the city attracts people. Hit them in the eye with ugliness and then show it's not that bad. After you've seen Aleja Krakowska, then Marszałkowska St looks quite decent and the Royal Tract - which is very nice anyway - seems to be the Gates of Heaven

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Originally Posted by Titan Man View Post
I'm not advocating a large-scale demolition program which will wipe every cheap commieblock in the city. It has to come natural, just like in London, for instance, where people become able to move away to some better area with better buildings so the 60s and 70s neighbourhoods become empty.
In London blocks of flats were social housing. The commieblocks are already mostly private apartments.

Forget the idea.

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Originally Posted by Titan Man View Post
Warsaw is the capital of a growing European country and it's in different position than, let's say, Prague, Vienna, Zagreb etc. It must decide what it wants to (urbanistically) be to be able to offer a good lifesyle for its citizens. And after all, citizens are all that matters.
Most of the citizens are not in the centre, but on the outskirts and their situation in Białołęka is much worse than in any commieblock. From the point of urbanism, I mean.

Regarding goodlooking of Warsaw city centre (except from really historic areas, the Royal Tract and so on) I see two options, and they're not alternative. Firstly - increase THC per capita intake (legalising marijuana would be of much help), secondly - grow more trees on the streets, which will, while grown, in 50 years, cover the ugliness of the buildings.

Unfortunately both option seems to me even less feasible than this commieblocks demolition program you were mentioning
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Old February 17th, 2016, 01:21 AM   #2487
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Yes, and this is ugly narrative and disgusting narrative. Deal with it. Not the reason to claim larger liveability than in normal European city.
It is what it is, all we can do is remedy it with infill to at least define streets, despite the lack of context in places like Wola....so that green spaces don't bleed out ambiguously.

I don't mind this building, but why there is a setback from built-to line of both buildings who knows.



This is typical. No context, commie blocks, sunlight criteria, building twists and turns but somehow defines a corner, it starts a new urban design precedent. Can't demolish commie/socreal blocks around it to create a proper urban matrix sadly. At least it is dealing with the ambiguous spaces left by the Ville Radieuse school of planning:




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Most of investments in Warsaw Central Financial District are alone, single buildings, ignoring context either because there's no context whatsoever, or because architect f***s the context on purpose. Or both.
I agree, I don't like this new infill that treats Wola like a suburb, buildings that do not address the street, where they bisect sidewalks with too many driveways for some short frontages and don't establish a proper street face as close to the sidewalk as possible, which would set a precedent. This development is fine but how it addresses the street should be better:



There are many like this one, that do work with existing context:



This one tries to address context and overall somewhat succeeds, I don't mind a setback here to save old trees and provide a nice green square or overflow space/sidewalk café for at-grade retail uses in future:




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Originally Posted by Mruczek View Post
Actually the only two big cities in Poland that are extremely poor in having "infills" are Cracow and Warsaw. Cracow, as it lost less than 5% of buildings in central area. And Warsaw, as it preserved less than 5%.
Not sure what you mean here, but Krakow is doing very well with infill that's where I live.

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What make Warsaw's outskirts among the most hideous in the EU is terrible chaos, widespread moronic low-end investments, lots of old, poor huts (completely devoid of any charm), horror of dangerous ancient pseudo-motorway-like roads,
yes, now I know what you mean, this is generally outside the city transit zone, a kind of no-man's land that is neither urban nor rural, as Gertrude Stein referred to it "there's no there there." This is a transitional stage of urbanization on the fringes. I have worked for years to help retrofit these places. Best thing to do is create nodes or a few centres and start to intensify those areas maybe in case of Poland revolving around a nice pseudo-urban square, over time supported with transit, these areas will intensify especially as property values go up, more properties will get bought up and redeveloped. Planning is needed here to at least plan the walkable transit-friendly centres.
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Old February 17th, 2016, 02:16 AM   #2488
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Warsaw is not messy, it's eclectic. Just wear every item of clothing different, then you will look eclectic. Or eat mixed milk chocolate, cucumber, soy sauce, sauerkraut and banans.
And this immortal argument - it's interesting. Come on. It's not what we are talking about. Am I wrong thinking that beautiful and harmonious things are usually interesting and appealing? What most of people want to look at, photograph, film.

The worst idea for a city is a Masterplan?
Yes and no. Depends on scale and on quality.
And this statement may suit other countries/peoples (where is lot of planned and harmonious spaces and cities) but not quite Poland where there are historical reasons (destruction, ideologies, not feeling like ours), generally not so good taste (my opinion) and sick individualism ("every" building different, every roof different). In general. My humble opinion.

Edit: I wonder, are you still defending a statement that Warsaw is beautiful (if we use this adjective to describe other mentioned earlier cities)?
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Old February 17th, 2016, 08:35 PM   #2489
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Is this beautiful?



or this?



I don't argue that Warsaw needs to follow some traditional principles of harmony for the sake of comfort and imageability and contiguity of the public realm, but what I am saying in essence is that Warsaw like any mature world class city must deal with what it has and can't change and thus create its own style and therefore concept of beauty....and yes more repair/infill is indeed needed in many areas to restore a more coherent structure.
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Old February 17th, 2016, 08:52 PM   #2490
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Construction of the Museum of Polish History and the Polish Army Museum begins.

Upon completion the old citadel fortress that once housed occupational garrisons of Russian soldiers in the 19th and 20th centuries will become adapted partially into a new cluster of museums dubbed Citadel of Museums along with the already existing Katyn Museum (which I am having a hard time finding images of).

***Please note detailed design is not yet complete as to how exterior will look, take this as a visual concept for now***















story in Polish:

Quote:
Cytadela Warszawska przechodzi do cywila. Zbudują tam dwa muzea.

To historyczny moment. Po ponad 180 latach istnienia Cytadela Warszawska przestaje być obiektem wojskowym. Żołnierze rozpoczynają "dyslokację" do innych jednostek. Wkrótce wnętrze fortecy stanie się placem budowy dwóch muzeów.
Przypominający szkołę "tysiąclatkę" współczesny budynek w północnej części Cytadeli jeszcze niedawno zajmowali wojskowi z 9. Brygady Wsparcia Dowodzenia. Dziś stoi pusty i czeka na rozbiórkę. Na przełomie kwietnia i maja w jego pobliżu ma być wbita pierwsza łopata na budowie siedzib Muzeum Historii Polski i Muzeum Wojska Polskiego.

- Cytadela stanie się Wyspą Muzeów - oznajmił prof. Zbigniew Wawer, dyrektor Muzeum Wojska Polskiego, witając gości konferencji prasowej poświęconej przygotowaniom do tego przedsięwzięcia.

Przemawiający po nim wiceminister obrony narodowej prof. Wojciech Fałkowski przypomniał, że Wyspa Muzeów znajduje się już w Berlinie, a tu jest Warszawa. - Ze względów geograficznych mówmy raczej o Kampusie Muzeów lub Cytadeli Muzeów - poradził.

Przekopią wał pod Cytadelą

Pierwszym etapem inwestycji będzie rozbiórka fragmentu historycznego muru fortecy od strony Wisłostrady i wykonanie przekopu w znajdującym się pod nim wale. Tędy z Wybrzeża Gdyńskiego na plac budowy wjedzie ciężki sprzęt. W przyszłości w przekop wstawiona zostanie nowa brama o współczesnej formie - główny dojazd do muzealnego kompleksu. Nad nią odtworzony zostanie wcześniej rozebrany zabytkowy mur.

- Mamy na to zgodę stołecznego konserwatora zabytków. Sam wskazał miejsce nowej bramy - zaznaczył Dariusz Matlat, wicedyrektor Muzeum Wojska Polskiego.

Kształt przyszłych budynków znamy już od 2009 r. Rozstrzygnięty wtedy konkurs architektoniczny wygrał projekt warszawskiej pracowni WXCA. Jego autorzy zaproponowali wzniesienie muzealnych budynków, które z trzech stron otoczą położony w centrum Cytadeli plac Gwardii. Głównemu gmachowi o trzech kondygnacjach nad ziemią i jednej podziemnej towarzyszyć będą dwa parterowe pawilony, ustawione symetrycznie po bokach placu. Ale obiekty te zaprojektowano wtedy wyłącznie dla Muzeum Wojska Polskiego. Gmach Muzeum Historii Polski miał powstać w innym miejscu - na kładce nad Trasą Łazienkowską. W międzynarodowym konkursie wybrano projekt autorstwa Bohdana Paczowskiego z Luksemburga. Realizacja zawieszonego nad arterią budynku okazała się jednak zbyt kosztowna i skomplikowana technicznie. W marcu zeszłego roku ówczesna premier Ewa Kopacz ogłosiła, że oba muzea ulokowane będą w zaprojektowanej już przez WXCA siedzibie MWP w Cytadeli, a ich otwarcie nastąpi już 11 listopada 2018 r., czyli w 100. rocznicę odzyskania przez Polskę niepodległości.

Zdążą z Cytadelą na rocznicę?

Finansowanie zapewniła w lipcu Rada Ministrów. Obecny rząd postanowił kontynuować tę inwestycję.

Problem w tym, że wprowadzenie tu drugiego muzeum wymaga korekt projektu. Architekci z WXCA jeszcze nad tym pracują. Dokumentacja wykonawcza jednego z bocznych pawilonów ma być gotowa w sierpniu, a gmachu głównego - do końca 2016 r., by budowa mogła się rozpocząć w 2017 r.

- Zależy nam, żeby istotna część została zrealizowana do listopada 2018 r., a otwarcie było jednym z najważniejszych elementów obchodów 100. rocznicy odzyskania niepodległości - powiedział na wczorajszej konferencji wiceminister kultury Jarosław Sellin.

Już wiadomo, że pod placem Gwardii powstanie dwupoziomowy parking dla aut gości muzeów, choć wcześniej go tu nie planowano. Jego budowy domagali się mieszkańcy sąsiadującego z Cytadelą Żoliborza w obawie przez zablokowaniem ulic przez samochody i autokary (dla tych drugich planowany jest parking naziemny). Główny gmach przyszłego kompleksu zajmie Muzeum Historii Polski (znajdzie się tu m.in. jego wystawa stała złożona z sześciu galerii opowiadających o kolejnych epokach historycznych), ale będzie go dzielić z pracowniami i magazynami Muzeum Wojska Polskiego. Dla tego drugiego przeznaczono boczne pawilony, choć na razie realizowany będzie tylko jeden z nich. MWP zamierza go otworzyć w 2020 r., na 100-lecie swojego istnienia.

Inwestycja sfinansowana będzie przez rząd. Na budowę Muzeum Wojska Polskiego około 390 mln zł przekaże Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej. Muzeum Historii Polski ma pochłonąć jeszcze większą sumę.

- Przygotowujemy nową uchwałę sejmową, która w wieloletnim programie rządowym zarezerwuje na ten cel 490 mln zł - poinformował wiceminister Sellin.

W porównaniu do poprzedniego projektu gmach główny będzie o 20 proc. mniejszy, niż planowano (40 tys. m kw. powierzchni użytkowej), a boczny pawilon zyska ściany (wcześniej miał być przestrzenią otwartą). Niestety, mają się też zmienić oryginalne elewacje budynków z pordzewiałej stali i blachy miedzianej z otworami. - Jeszcze nad tym pracujemy - zdradził architekt Szczepan Wroński z WXCA.
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Warsaw Post-War Reconstruction to Present
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Old February 17th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #2491
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For those of you who don't know where Wola is and since so much of discussion above revolves around it, it's the western district of old Warsaw where Nazis created a huge Jewish ghetto and then when they rose up, the whole area was demolished. Leaving only historic islands which we can see below from late 50's or early 60's. So yes, not much context:



thanks Piotrek00
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Old February 17th, 2016, 09:52 PM   #2492
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But why should people deal with commieblocks, as if they're something special and specific only for Warsaw? Look at Berlin, Belgrade, or dozens of instant-cities in China, they all have commieblocks. Commies don't make Warsaw special, what's special is amount of them. And after all, that Chinese tourist will leave the city after few days but Varsovians are stuck with their city pretty much every day. Now, I don't know how they feel about them or if they hate them, but it should be their decision whether they want to take Warsaw to a whole new level, the same thing that happened after WW2, or if they want to continue with those infills in the middle of a commieblock area (totally wrong for me, it's basically collision of two different ideologies and two different urbanist ideas). I'm not advocating a large-scale demolition program which will wipe every cheap commieblock in the city. It has to come natural, just like in London, for instance, where people become able to move away to some better area with better buildings so the 60s and 70s neighbourhoods become empty. Warsaw is the capital of a growing European country and it's in different position than, let's say, Prague, Vienna, Zagreb etc. It must decide what it wants to (urbanistically) be to be able to offer a good lifesyle for its citizens. And after all, citizens are all that matters.
This discussion is about the rebuilding of Warsaw to the present. The only way Warsaw is unique in Europe is that 70 years ago it did not exist - and is trying to build its way around 50 years of communist mis-construction which both economically and socially did not rebuild in the 'conventional' way.

What you want is not in reality. Free Warsaw is a relatively poor city, only 25 years old - and most investment comes from overseas. Of course all citizens would like to live in luxury, in a beautiful, rich city with lots of benefits. It is not what Warsaw wants - its a compromise between existing pre-war buildings, stuborn commi blocks that wont budge and the demands of developers with new development. Warsaw is "work in progress" - a building site. It will take at least another 30 years of development before the great Warsaw jigsaw puzzle is complete. Until then Warsaw will remain "a sitting duck" - "an easy target" for anyone coming from "less unfortunate" circumstances and feel the need to "kick a man while he's down"

It is not realistic to have everything your way when rebuilding an entire city from Armageddon. Look at the picture above. The whole city looked like this. Where do you even start?

When people see Warsaw today it does not look beautiful - but when people say that Warsaw is beautiful - they refer to HOW MUCH has been achieved - from zero - under repression and dictatorship. Look at the picture above first and then look at Warsaw now. You feel the Definition of beautiful; "possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind." That is beautiful.

You start slowly, within your means and budget. You have to make deals with EVERYONE involved. You need to save all the pre-war buildings you can. Its not easy to relocate all those people from commi blocks without big investment. Some actually want to stay because they are in the centre. Some people on this forum live in these commi blocks and say they like it! Prime location! Warsaw has more commis because it was destroyed the most. The people had to live somewhere after WWII, fast and cheaply. Think about it. They are not going to build luxury housing or reconstruct old areas in a hurry. Varsovians do have good lifestyles considering the historical context. They have all the things that life requires within reason. It's only when you compare Warsaw to other richer less damaged western cities that Warsaw stands out and that is not my point. I am saying that Warsaw is not messy. It works well and is an organised city which provides a complete range of housing for its citizens who live as well as they can considering their own economical and social means and within what the city can provide for them at this time. OF COURSE as time goes by the quality of buildings and lives of the citizens will improve.
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Old February 17th, 2016, 10:12 PM   #2493
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This discussion is about the rebuilding of Warsaw to the present. The only way Warsaw is unique in Europe is that 70 years ago it did not exist - and is trying to build its way around 50 years of communist reconstruction which both economically and socially did not rebuild in the 'conventional[' way.
What you want is not in reality. Free Warsaw is a relatively poor city, only 25 years old - and most investment comes from overseas. Of course all citizens would like to live in luxury, in a beautiful, rich city with lots of benefits. It is not what Warsaw wants - its a compromise between existing pre-war buildings, existing commis and new development. It is not realistic to have everything your way when rebuilding an entire city from Armageddon. Where do you even start? You start slowly, within your means and budget. You have to make deals with EVERYONE involved. You need to save all the pre-war buildings you can. Its not easy to relocate all those people from commi blocks without big investment. Some actually want to stay because they are in the centre. Some people on this forum live in these commi blocks and say they like it! Prime location! Warsaw has more commis because it was destroyed the most. The people had to live somewhere after WWII, fast and cheaply. Think about it. They are not going to build luxury housing or reconstruct old areas in a hurry. Varsovians do have good lifestyles considering the historical context. They have all the requirements that life requires within reason. It's only when you compare Warsaw to other richer less damaged western cities that Warsaw stands out and that is not my point. I am saying that Warsaw is not messy. It works well and is an organised city which provides a complete range of housing for its citizens who live as well as they can considering their own economical and social means and within what the city can provide for them at this time. OF COURSE as time goes by the quality of buildings and lives of the citizens will improve.
Not all of Warsaw was demolished, "only" 85% (15% is still something ). Also, as I said before, I'm not here to advocate a huge demolition program of commieblocks, although I wouldn't be sad to see it in Warsaw and in the rest of Europe, but it's not economically feasable. The biggest problem is that there are many developments (really good ones, IMO) in the city centre which aren't exactly restoring the urbanity of the place. I mean, look at the city centre (by that I mean the business part of the city, like Wola, not the Old Town), it literally has huge multiple-lane highways, and instead of slowly trying to fix that issue and give Warsaw a better urbanist solution, the city just continues to work with, lets call it, a mediocre urbanist solution. Warsaw is currently booming, there has never been a better time to finally decide in which way Warsaw wants to go, and by that I don't mean something that will be solved in a couple of years, I mean that Warsaw needs to decide how it sees itself in, lets say, 50 years. I know Warsaw was terribly ruined during the WW2, but you can't keep blaming it for everything and forever. There are many cities in Europe that were destroyed at some point in time and reinvented themselves in a good way. In 200 years from now, will people still blame WW2 for Warsaw's drabby look or will they by then have the solution of that problem (which will still be in realisation)? Warsaw is one unique city which will stay a construction site for a long, long time, and I don't see a problem in that, I'm just saying it shouldn't make the same mistakes that were done during the communism, just start fixing it slowly, step by step, for instance restoring the prewar street pattern where it's currently possible with new developments, and Warsaw will be able to call itself a beautiful city in future.
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Old February 18th, 2016, 04:00 AM   #2494
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Warsaw - not too big - not too small - perfectly proportioned - get anywhere within 20 minutes - tall buildings in the Centre (like an American City - wide ranging surrounding districts - within a grid of broad roads to allow traffic circulation - lots of greenery/parks/squares - a peaceful beautiful old town area and a 7km kings route - one of the best transport networks with trams, buses and new expanding metro - a natural green Eastern river bank with beaches, wildlife and zoo 5 minutes from old town - national stadium 20 minutes walk - comprehensive cycle path network. This is the framework that has been achieved - against all odds - from zero - which will one (not too distant) day - mature into the ideal city

Before he left me at Pawia to go to the Jewish Museum - the Chinese man said to me, " If you find an old, tired bush - and cut it right down to it's roots - it will grow back - bigger, stronger and more glorious than it ever was before".
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Old February 18th, 2016, 05:39 AM   #2495
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Historical - Communist - modern - working together
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Old February 18th, 2016, 05:45 AM   #2496
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If you look from the opposite side - it will look completely different. That's the beauty of Warsaw.
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Old February 18th, 2016, 05:51 AM   #2497
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One street in Central Warsaw. Can you imagine if all of Warsaw was similar to this? It would look just like - Krakow - Vienna - Paris or Prague. Now - that would be dull...
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Old February 18th, 2016, 06:52 AM   #2498
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Most tourists don't realize that there are about 55 blocks of above in the downtown south district (srodmiescie poludniowe).
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Old February 18th, 2016, 10:59 AM   #2499
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Warsaw - not too big - not too small - perfectly proportioned - get anywhere within 20 minutes - tall buildings in the Centre (like an American City - wide ranging surrounding districts - within a grid of broad roads to allow traffic circulation - lots of greenery/parks/squares - a peaceful beautiful old town area and a 7km kings route - one of the best transport networks with trams, buses and new expanding metro - a natural green Eastern river bank with beaches, wildlife and zoo 5 minutes from old town - national stadium 20 minutes walk - comprehensive cycle path network. This is the framework that has been achieved - against all odds - from zero - which will one (not too distant) day - mature into the ideal city
Wow, you said the truth
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Old February 18th, 2016, 01:42 PM   #2500
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What you're mentioning about infills is working indeed in cities of Poland which were seriously damaged by the war, but maintained some of the original street grid and at least some buildings, to which the next (new) building might be sticked.

I.e. Wrocław (Ołbin, Bermuda Triangle, Old Town), Poznań (Wilda, Old Town), Szczecin, Gdańsk and Łódź (here's much worse).

Actually the only two big cities in Poland that are extremely poor in having "infills" are Cracow and Warsaw. Cracow, as it lost less than 5% of buildings in central area. And Warsaw, as it preserved less than 5%.
I don't see how this is true. Despite the fact that Southern downtown, Old Mokotów, Old Ochota, Żoliborz are all 90% complete, there are lots of infills planned, U/C or already completed.

The only city with more "real" urban infills may be Wrocław, but soon most of its "historic" areas will be complete and Wroclaw will be on the same boat.

Wola, Powiśle, Praga North and South (Grochów, Kamionek) are full of empty plots waiting to be filled.
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