Curator: Marcin Szczelina
The apartment building Sprzeczna 4, completed by BBGK Architekci in 2017, is considered a prototype in Poland. With its combination of excellent architecture and quality of execution, it counters the battered reputation that modular construction has in Poland due to the countless concrete housing estates from the communist era.
The multifamily building was built on a small, irregular plot of land – itself an anomaly given the stereotype of the slab block throughout Poland – located within a 19th century block-edge development in the Praga district of Warsaw. The architects made use of various prefabrication technologies, such as the use of large elements, colored exposed concrete with prints and reliefs, electrical installations integrated into the walls, and heated ceiling systems.
In Poland, Sprzeczna 4 has become an occasion to discuss current issues in housing construction. Not only does it stand as a polemic against the semi-feudal system of housing construction, which dates back to the 19th century and relies on the labor of poorly paid immigrants. It has also been exemplary in its implementation of fair business practices and appeals to society’s social responsibility with its low-cost technology.
BBGK Architekci was founded in 2014 by Jan Belina Brzozowski, Konrad Grabowiecki, and Wojciech Kotecki in Warsaw. They have realized numerous projects, including the multifamily residential buildings Sprzeczna 4 and the Mennica Residence (Warsaw, 2017), as well as Konstancin-Jeziorna City Hall (2018). Their design for the Katyn Museum (Warsaw, 2016) was selected as a finalist for the Mies van der Rohe Prize in 2017. Current projects include the Emilia Pavilion (Warsaw), and the Young City Masterplan Gdansk (in cooperation with Henning Larsen Architects and A2P2 Architecture and Planning).