Awakening a sleeping beauty
Warsaw is an example of a city with an impressive rate of change, that took place especially during the twentieth century.
In the 30’s it was believed that the capital of Poland was of great, intercontinental importance for its strategically central location. At the intersection between Europe and Asia, Baltic Sea and Black Sea, Warsaw was imagined as a major transit hub and meeting point for political, economic and cultural purposes.
One of the goals during the Second World War, was Warsaw’s total destruction and the creation of a military unit of German soldiers on the remains of the city. However, the plan was not implemented, even though the damage to the city was enormous.
After the war was over, Poland was colonized and made into a communist state. Urbanism and Architecture became tools of propaganda and Soviet domination. The scale of buildings, the sections of streets and squares were designed to overwhelm the individuals, reduce their sense of importance and turn them into an instrument of a system.
Parallel with the fall of Communism a new era began, with capitalism and rampant re-privatization processes. It resulted with an ungraded property law, acupunctural urban planning without clearly defined rules. This era continues to this day, with Warsaw revealed as a patchwork city of former influences which generated many problems.
The thesis is an attempt to look at the fragmentation and chaos of Warsaw and the potential features already available for creating a better city. It is also a document of discovering the importance of human co-operation’s role to facilitate the realization of a shared vision.
Afstudeercommissie: Hans van der Made (mentor), Mark van der Heide en David Kloet. Toegevoegde leden t.b.v. het examen: Maud Aarts en Herman Zonderland.