The Revitalization & New Developments in the Centre of a Historical City. “Cracovia” Case Study

Session #2 Panel Discussion | Tuesday, June 25 | 12:00-13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Mała)

Sub-Theme: Change and the City: Urban Spaces as Catalysts for Change

Magdalena Buczyńska-Zapała
Filip Suchoń

Changes have taken place over the centuries in the city. Why should the city now be protected from further changes and inhibited? How to skilfully protect historical heritage, while not preventing changes and development? Does revitalization correctly understood not just mean demolition, repairs and the construction of new objects, but also the intense process of the general revival of valuable yet degraded buildings?

Cracovia_1

Cracovia | illustration by Pink Plastic Bag

Developed over many centuries, Kraków provides a showcase setting for many historic styles of architecture. Here the issues of protection of cultural heritage, individual objects and entire urban complexes seem to be particularly important.

In the 1960’s in Polish historical cities there were many attractively located and still vacant land plots for development, or land with buildings representing no historical value. New buildings were implemented in such locations, often taking into account the existing context and the protection of the urban landscape.

The complex of “Cracovia” Hotel and “Kijow” Cinema is a must-see in Krakow – one of the best examples of post-war modernist architecture in Poland. It is also an excellent example of the 1960’s spirit, uniting elements of International Style and Neo-expressionism. These facilities are a testimony to the legacy of the iconic and important period in the history of post-war Poland. This almost legendary hotel was sold and ended its operations in July 2011. The buyer, a known real estate developer, planned in the beginning to demolish the hotel, and to put in its place complex of commercial spaces.

Hotel Cracovia II

Hotel Cracovia II by christinapolska, on Flickr

This was met with protests of local communities and professionals (i. e. architects). The investor’s plans were thwarted by the entry of “Cracovia” into the register of monuments. The European Court of Human Rights found that the placement of private property in the register of monuments actually deprives owners of the possibility of its use as originally intended.

Despite many attempts to find a consensus between the private investor and the local authorities, it still has not come to an agreement. The hotel building serves as a frame for advertising and its future fate is unreadable.

We are now faced with a dilemma: is it possible to adopt a formula for the protection of architectural monuments as a time-varying element, at the same time conditioning its existence in the memory of generations and the physically changing space?


buczynska

M.Sc. Arch Magdalena Buczyńska-Zapała

Over 10 years of professional experience working on projects of public, retail and flat buildings, especially interior design. Running her own architectural practice since 2010. In addition to architecture and design activities she is involved in local community development. |  Cracow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning. Master of Sciences in Architecture and Urban Planning (diploma January 2002) with recognition of Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Part 2. Postgraduate Studies: Conservation, development of architecture and interiors of religious buildings - diploma 2007. Registered architect - license of the Małopolska Chamber of Architects No MP – 1406.
filip suchon

M.Sc. Arch Filip Suchoń

Over 12 years of professional experience working on projects of public and retail buildings. Runs his own architectural practice since 2009. Teacher at Cracow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Institute of Urban Design - since 2012. Tutor during Erasmus IP UPWARD International Urban Design Workshop in Torino, Italy. Has been awarded the Grand Prix at the 8th International Biennale of Architecture in Cracow, 2000 for his “Study proposal for the Blonia Green area in Cracow”.  |  Cracow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning. Master of Sciences in Architecture and Urban Planning (diploma December 1999) with recognition of Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Part 2. Registered architect - license of the Małopolska Chamber of Architects No MP – 1302.
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