Consciously about energy at the Design and Architecture Forum


The reuse of the architectural and urban tissue, the RE-USE phenomenon, the effects of de-fragmentation, block superstructures and the regeneration of housing estates were selected issues raised by the participants of the Design and Architecture Forum on 1-2 February 2023 during the Budma trade fair in Poznań.

The Design and Architecture Forum was officially opened by Jakub Głaz, architecture critic and columnist, as well as Filip Bittner, Vice President of the Management Board of the MTP Group and Piotr Fokczyński, President of the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland. - Our meeting will be filled with lectures and debates, which again - after last year's edition - will be held under the general motto ODNOWA [RENEW] with the subtitle "consciously about energy" - emphasised Jakub Głaz, the Forum moderator. Participants in the Forum asked themselves questions about energy, both in terms of its conservation associated with the reuse of architectural material and also in terms of the power required to carry out complex renewal work.


De-fragmentation workshop - Defilad Square study 

The substantive part of the Design and Architecture Forum began with a case study of the creative renewal or transformation of a difficult and symbolically highly saturated space: the Defilad Square in Warsaw. In June last year, the so-called New Neighbourhood Square was opened within it, including a space with partially removed slabs that was earmarked for intensive greening. This is a foretaste of the more far-reaching changes that will take place in the square, which - after years of being a no-man's-land and amorphous space - will be given new life through creative renewal.


Superstructure of blocks of flats as a response to changes in the life and work model

Kinga Grzybowska from the KXM GROUP studio in Poznań presented a very interesting concept for the superstructure of a block of flats from the late 1950s and early 1960s in Poznań Rondo residential and commercial complex at Grunwaldzka street. Forum participants noted that this project could be used as a universal solution applied on a wider scale.    


Working with architectural heritage. The case of Ulrich Gardens

During the D&A Design and Architecture Forum, the case of a Warsaw space, this time located not in the centre, but in the west of the Wola district, was undertaken again. The space recently creatively transformed by the WXCA design studio. The historic park, the square and also the greenhouses built on top of the existing substance have been renovated. Invited guests - most of whom were involved in the revitalisation of the presented space - looked at and attempted to analyse Ulrich gardens from a number of very practical perspectives: Monika Lemańska of the WXCA studio, Agnieszka Polakowska of SAGO Projekt, Michał Zalewski representing the SETUP team and Poznań-based architect Dominik Banaszak of the LAB 3 Architekci studio.


The new life of Monopolis

The special guest on the first day of the D&A Forum was Rafał Grzelewski, representative of Group 5 Architects, who led the Monopolis project - the successful revitalisation of the former 1902 Vodka Monopoly plant in Łódź. Today, the former factory is a space for modern offices, a theatre, an amphitheatre, an ARTgallery and a museum dedicated to the history of the former Vodka Monopoly plant.


ODNOWA [RENEW] debate on projects in the spirit of RE-USE in Poland

The panel opening the second day of the D&A Forum focused on the most interesting spaces that have recently been developed in the RE-USE spirit in Poland. This trend, in the face of the challenges of climate change, economic and environmental crises, appears to be the most important approach in the design practice. The panel consisted of presentations of the most renowned projects of the most interesting architects in the last year and the debate. Aleksandra Wasilkowska, Maciej Franta and Łukasz Pancewicz were invited to participate in the event.



Estates for restoration

Residential houses in need of specifically understood restoration were discussed. Rather than reworking them for another function, their value should be upgraded with creative improvements. Participants at the D&A Forum addressed in particular housing estates and complexes from the post-war era. However, they also looked at tenement houses and buildings erected today, because - as it turns out - the negative experience with existing buildings have hardly taught us anything. The subject of comprehensively conceived restoration of existing residential buildings is still quite poorly understood, and the lack of even one comprehensive Polish example makes it difficult for many people to imagine such changes.


Working with context

The two-day D&A Forum culminated with a lecture by special guest Alexander Schwarz of David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin. Professor of “Building and Public Design” at the University of Stuttgart and partner at the David Chipperfield Architecture Studio in Berlin, where, as design director, he is responsible for numerous projects and competitions, including the Neues Museum and the James-Simon-Galerie on Berlin's Museum Island, the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach and the Folkwang Museum in Essen.


Event partners

The Design and Architecture Forum was held under the honorary patronage of: Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland, the Association of Polish Architects and the National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning. The D&A Forum was held under the substantive auspices of the Poznan branch of the Association of Polish Architects and the editors of the “Architektura & Biznes” journal. The partner of the Design and Architecture Forum was Fakro, the vice-leader of the world market for skylights.

We invite you to the next edition of BUDMA International Construction and Architecture Fair to be held on 30 January - 2 February 2024 in Poznan.