Paulina Kapczyńska

Paulina Kapczyńska


Grodzka contemporary

Grodzka Island located in the heart of the city, yet a forgotten land for many citizens of Szczecin. It’s an island surrounded by a very strong historical context of the popular cultural centre and an upcoming new hotspot in the city- the post-industrial harbour. The city itself also has a special place in history. Today Szczecin (Stettin) is Polish, but it has had multiple cultural personalities throughout the history. Cultural independence, and ownership of, active participation in culture, as well as cultural buildings hasn’t been a main focus here for many years.

Grodzka contemporary refers to the whole design strategy on the island. My main goal was to introduce more permanent public access to the island from the popular left bank of the river, more permanent occupation on the island, as well as creating a room for new activities along the main public path. One of the main design interventions is an art gallery located on the south end of the island. The building consists of a wide cultural program located in the plinth, as well as a collection of individual gallery rooms- each with its specific characteristics and expression. Each gallery has an opening pointing at the city cultural heritage, a physical relicts left by the countries which once were in possession of the city of Szczecin.

As part of the concept of individual galleries, two artists in residency sheds are located within the allotment gardens allowing the artist creative process to be displayed to public. The sheds are located along the modulated and subtle pathway through the landscape of exciting tiny private garden sheds leading to the Gallery.

This project is my personal search for a building for a new kind of democracy in this very specific cultural context in Poland- in a country that is not used, for historical and political reasons, to give people much public expression of themselves or alternative views on culture. It is on its own is an important issue at this very moment, as things culturally and politically are getting more conservative worldwide.

Graduation committee: Jo Barnett (mentor), Maurizio Scarciglia and Hiroki Matsuura. Additional members for the exam: Lada Hrsak and Micha de Haas.

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