In the year of European Capital of Culture 2016, the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects (SARP) – the initiator of the DoFA Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture and publisher of the festival catalogue – has made the decision to bring out an independent publishing series under the title Wrocław’s Masters of Architecture. The series will present the oeuvre and professional achievements of outstanding architects from Wrocław.
Since the very beginning, the Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture has brought to attention the work of contemporary architects who have influenced the new image of the city. We would like to broaden the perception of Wrocław to include more than just the historical layout of the Old Town with the beautiful Town Hall, or the modernist objects designed by renowned architects like Max Berg, Erich Mendelsohn or Hans Poelzig, which are often quoted in the most prestigious journals. The post-war period brought many significant developments boasting equally interesting and unique architecture. This output justifies the inclusion of its makers in the Pantheon of Wrocław’s Masters of Architecture, especially given the fact that many of them worked in very difficult times.
During the 2006-2009 term of SARP Wrocław, in cooperation with Agnieszka Zabłocka-Kos, PhD, Eng. of Architecture, Professor of the Faculty of Art History of Wrocław University, a list of contemporary architectural achievements in the city of Wrocław was compiled. It was our intention to highlight not only the objects, but also the people who designed them. Since 2011, the architects responsible for the most important developments in the cityscape of Wrocław after 1945 have been awarded the Wrocław Branch’s Honorary Award by the Award Committee. The list of the recipients of the award to date includes both architects who worked in the previous political period and our colleagues who collaborate with us here and now:
Stefan Müller (2011)
Anna Tarnawska and Jerzy Tarnawski (2012)
Zbigniew Maćków (2013)
Wojciech Jarząbek (2014)
Dorota Szlachcic and Mariusz Szlachcic (2015)
In the year of celebrating European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, the Award Committee has made the decision to suspend the competition and posthumously honour two outstanding architects – Krystyna Barska and Marian Barski – for their impressive and varied achievements.
So far, information about this prestigious award was published in DoFA catalogues, accompanied by the recipients’ biographies and most important accomplishments. Substituting it with an independent publishing series that would be available in libraries and bookshops will probably result in familiarising a greater number of Wrocław dwellers with the Masters of Architecture and their work.
One of the most important actions carried out within the ECoC 2016 programme is the construction of the “Nowe Żerniki” model housing estate. The idea is based on the construction of WuWA, a model residential development from 1929. The participants of the Nowe Żerniki workshops put forward the idea to name the streets in this model housing estate after famous architects who worked in the pre-war Breslau and post-war Wrocław and enriched the city with objects of national, European and global renown. In this way, honouring Masters of Architecture will become permanently inscribed in the city’s history.
Maciej Hawrylak, PhD, Eng. of Architecture
Member of the Executive Board of the Polish Association of Architects