Warsaw Central Square
A fluid landscape for culture and gathering
Plac Centralny holds the potential to become the twenty-first century heart of Polish creative arts and culture.
The architectural move to undulate the paved surface shapes a contemporary language and new visual identity for the square. Its asymmetry and spontaneity sets it apart from the Soviet monumentality of the past, an era which casts a shadow over Plac Defilad still today. The sculptural terrain responds to how the sun moves across the square during the day and circulation routes to and from the new buildings planned upon its perimeter—such as the TR Warszawa Theatre and the relocated Museum of Modern Art.
A main ambition of Plac Centralny is to create a destination which not only exhibits art, but also actively facilitates cultural expression through its role as a public platform. With its packed program of seasonal events and bustling nightlife, Plac Centralny will become a destination not only in Warsaw but in the whole of Poland, attracting both locals and international visitors to the square.
Crafted slices in the landscape allow people to collectively sit and observe events, whether it is an outdoor theatre performance or the European Football Championships. These subtle interventions encourage the cultural institutions on the square’s perimeter to create an interactive program of events which engage with the public in the square, encouraging ‘life between the buildings’.
Plac Centralny’s own Creative Corner (#CC), formed as the terrain rises on the southeast corner to capture the sunlight during early evening, has been designed as an inclusive ‘front of house’ to the square. The mission of Creative Corner is to promote both upcoming artists and schoolchildren alike to get creative by hosting community initiated art events and providing a covered informal space to exhibit. The Creative Corner also hosts residencies for Polish artists interested in creating art for the public realm and will develop a working dialogue with the new Museum of Modern Art.
The Warsaw Central Square project was developed with AUGA, with fellow founding members Agnieszka Filipowicz, Ania Pierańska, Hannah Wood and Cecilie Overgaard Rasmussen.