The main squares are parking lots and intersections. After years of discussion, consultations have begun

Surrounded by historical buildings that are well interconnected and have great potential. And they are just sad parking lots. Two large squares in the center of Warsaw – Teatralnye and Bankowy – are today a disgrace to its authorities. After years of debate, the City Council announced a public consultation on the format of the “Karette Workshops”.

The city announced the start of consulting and design activities for three downtown squares: Teatralny, Bankowy and elazna Brama.

Theater SquareWarsaw City Council

Charrette workshop announced. What is this? It is a consultation technique between residents and project experts related to changes in space. Participants will discuss in smaller groups with specialists certain elements of the project, for example green spaces, movement, micro-architecture, services and design together, discuss problems in implementing projects and search for common ground. In Warsaw, these workshops were already used for example in the design of changes in Plac Powstańców Warszawy.

Today they are parking lots and intersections

– Thinking of the new Warsaw Center, we will soon start designing Plac Teatralny, Plac Bankowy and the new Plac elazna Bramy. On June 3 we will start with a walk with the residents around Plac Teatralny. Because we want to perform the update in Carrett’s formula, i.e. with the population. This has already proven itself in Plac Powstańców Warszawy, which we are rebuilding taking into account the needs of the people who use it – Michał Olszewski, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, announced in the press release.

Theater SquareWarsaw City Council

– That the new development of the squares be in line with contemporary thinking in the design of public spaces. It should be consistent with the program idea “Improving the quality of important public spaces” of the #Warszawa2030 strategy. Dialogue with residents, users, square owners and experts is also an important element in redesigning these spaces – added Wojciech Wagner, Deputy Director of the Office of Architecture and Spatial Planning.

Officials admitted that today Teatralny is primarily a parking lot, and Bankuy is a busy transport hub. On the other hand, in the square of Elazna Brama, there is no connection with the Saxon Garden. Now, the priority is to “return the space of the squares to the residents by organizing vehicular connections and introducing green spaces, as well as emphasizing their historical and touristic values.”

Two decades of planning and discussion

There has been talk of turning squares from names into real squares for a long time. In 2019, as part of thinking about Bankowy’s future, a “prototyping space” was created The so-called relaxation zone. It was an open air summer cafe, some greenery and lots of wooden street furniture. The initiative costs money Hundreds of thousands of zlotys He became a favorite target of ridicule for the right-wing opposition. They contacted the furniture platforms, and over the next few months they criticized Rafael Trzaskowski on every possible occasion.

Plac Teatralny has been an anti-model of urban space for years. Between the magnificent building of Teatr Wielki – the Polish National Opera and the reconstructed Jabłonowski Palace, there is a large parking lot on an increasingly dilapidated roof. – Our assumption is simple – instead of parking lots we want green spaces, instead of concrete benches. This place is supposed to live, it’s supposed to be a show of Warsaw – Speaking in 2018 Jan Mencwel of Miasto jest nas, calling for change. Nothing has changed since then. The only alternative to normal life was the garden that was arranged there Crazy Music Days. But only a few days a year.

The Iron Gate Square was to be linked to a Saxon park by a pedestrian crossing. But it is already known that the year of the zebra promised in 2019 in the focus of Saska (Then the program of changes in the center was still called “Warsaw Smile”.) will not be created yet. Why? This was explained at Wednesday’s conference by the head of the capital’s road construction company.

Another square on this axis, namely Mirovsky Square, was to be designed by the participants in an architectural competition, which was announced in 2017. It has not been announced yet.

Plac Teatralny and Plac Bankowy were included in the competition organized in 2007. Their scores were put into a drawer.

Theater SquareWarsaw City Council

Main image source: Warsaw City Council

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