The notion of the genius loci is as old as architecture itself. Yet the search to discover the formal and/or historical spirit of a place as the starting point for creative interpretation is a model that is far from obsolete. Indeed, the opposite is the case: as building parameters become increasingly global with regard to content, financing, and technology, it becomes all the more important to consider how contemporary architecture can succeed without becoming arbitrary or interchangeable.
An intensive preoccupation with this topic can be found in the projects of Krakow-based architects Lewicki Łatak, who will present five exemplary projects in their exhibition. Their design of the Ghetto Heroes Square in Krakow (2005) relates its story through the installation of bronze replicas, which stand for the countless personal belongings that were abandoned when the ghetto was liquidated in 1943. Three more projects address the material and formal characteristics of their location. The Corte Verona apartment building (2010) offers a contemporary take on the centuries-old brickwork tradition in Wroclaw. The Flyspot in Mory near Warsaw (2014) brings an identifying landmark to an otherwise anonymous industrial area. The expansive Cracovia Sports Center in Krakow (2018) responds with its design to the surrounding meadow landscape. Meanwhile, their proposal for a pedestrian bridge (2006, construction pending) across the Vistula River in Krakow references the nearby river bend while joining the two riversides both physically and aesthetically.
Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak was founded in 1995 by Kazimierz Łatak and Piotr Lewicki in Krakow. Since then, the office has established itself as one of the most successful in Poland, thanks to their numerous winning competition entries and buildings. With this exhibition, Architektur Galerie Berlin continues its exploration of contemporary Polish architecture.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Polish Institute Berlin.