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Łódź the ideal city

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Special Art Zone

EC1 Lodz Foundation

Breathtaking things happening in Łódź

During the conference on BIM technology in architectonic design (‘Technologia BIM w projektowaniu architektonicznym – przyszłość czy teraźniejszość’, Warsaw, 7 October 2009), Wojciech Wycichowski presented the idea of the New Centre of Łódź to the designer’s world. It was received with genuine enthusiasm. The meeting was attended by representatives of architectonic design studios from Poland and companies which support these studios with software and hardware.

In the largest room of the Multikino cinema in Zlote Tarasy, Wycichowski presented 80 slides picturing the project, and presented the programme of the New City Centre. The audience included such prominent architects as Robert Konieczny (KWK Promes), Lukasz Magdziarz (Walas Sp. z o.o.) or Tomasz Studniarek (ArchiStudio). In the summary of the conference, its organiser, Witold Szymanik, said that the changes which Łódź is about to face are a breathtaking and impressively optimistic social initiative. He stressed that everybody should learn how to change their cities from the citizens of Łódź!


Wojciech Wycichowski, an architect
(for over a year, he has been working with Marek Solnica on the project of the Special Zone of Art as a partner of Charly Möller’s design team):

‘Accepting the invitation to the conference by the most prominent names of Polish architecture is an honour for a designer, as well as a sign of appreciation for the mental and spatial revolution on which Lodz is working. My presentation had various dimensions – it was not just about the project as such. I wanted to show to Warsaw architects how enthusiasm and energy may lead to the boldest projects. We motivate officials and politicians to action on all levels, not only in institutions and local authorities. It is also a signal for other cities – their inhabitants are able to change their surroundings. This is what modern patriotism means for me.

What was on the first slide of your presentation?

Since the very beginning of the project of the New Centre of Lodz, we called it, due to its scale and importance for all of us, an ‘operation on an open heart’ ... oops, sorry ... ‘city’. That is why I started my presentation with a picture of operation on an open heart...

What was the reaction of the architects gathered there?

Everyone asked how they may join the endeavour.

What would be your advice for the architects from outside Lodz?

To find their own Katarzyna Korbo, David Lynch and Andrzej Walczak...

Malgorzata Pawlikowska, a participant of the conference:
-I was born in Lodz. I went to school and grew up there. After I graduated, I jumped on a fast train to Warsaw and I’ve lived here for 10 years now. There are many of us – Lodz folks – living in the capital. We pay visits to our home town and we learn to see it in different colours. A walk through the centre may bring back sentimental memories, but it may as well make us tired, overwhelm us with the lack of something new. It tires me, sometimes. I dream about a trip to some places in Lodz other than Manufaktura and the renewed Piotrkowska Street. A project involving the 90ha space in the very centre of the city is my new tale of Lodz. I am grateful to its originators and I ask them to actively continue this fascinating plot! The story about ‘an operation on an open city’, presented on the forum of architects, makes people happy and it stimulates their imagination. It is a proof that Lodz visionaries can get to work together on a grand scale and effectively, I hope. I really want to be able to drink coffee on the Kobro Square, visit the SSS museum at the weekend, or stare at the skyscrapers looming aorund... I would like to feel proud of seeing Lodz which discarded its dusty apron and presents itself with style.

Rafał Slek, a representative of the conference organiser:
– the WSC company: Mr. Wycichowski’s presentation is one of the most interesting presentations I have seen in my entire life. His fascinating story attracted my attention not only because of the content, but also because of its message and form. I think that everyone was impressed: the realisation of bold ideas seems to be unrealistic at the beginning, but hard work of extraordinary people moves the project to the realisation stage at quite a pace. I keep fingers crossed for the actions planned with a fantastic vision in mind. At the end of the presentation it became clear why the speaker was wearing a bowler hat, combining the past and the present, vision and realism. The history of Lodz is being written before our very eyes.

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New Centre of Łódź and Kobro Square

The New Centre of Łódź is a pioneer operation on a living city, both in respect of matter and idea. The concept of spatial development for this area was prepared by a Luxemburg urban planner, Rob Krier, in 2007. The starting point for the entire project is the idea to create a high speed railway line under a city. At the same time, the New Centre of Łódź will be a place which will define the character of Łódź as a city of culture and art for a long time.