Exercising Modernity - "Gartenvorstadt: Plantstory" - Instytut Pileckiego

14.02.2024 (Wed) 18:00

Exercising Modernity - "Gartenvorstadt: Plantstory"

Lecture by Barbara Nawrocka (Exercising Modernity Scholarship Recipient)

"Gartenvorstadt: Plantstory" - lecture by Barbara Nawrocka (Exercising Modernity Scholarship Recipient)

14.02, 18.00 | Zoom-Lecture | Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hDr6zE6oS4uQTXCP7OnNqg

The Bloki estate in Ciechanow was designed as a Gartenvorstadt, a garden suburb. Construction began in the early 1940s, with the purpose of providing a new residential base for officials and their families who were settling in the capital of the newly established
East Prussian administrative district, Regierungsbezirk Zichenau.

The urban planning project for Zichenau envisioned a complete reconstruction of the city, but the only realized element turned out to be the green suburb. In a very short time, over a hundred residential buildings were constructed, ranging from single-family villas to multi-family blocks, purportedly making the estate the largest residential development built by the Third Reich on conquered lands during World War II.

Associations with Ebenezer Howard's Garden City concept are not accidental. Vast expanses of land, that had previously been mostly rural areas, were developed so that lush greenery could fill the spaces between buildings. Currently, despite the densification of residential construction, the estate seems to be a series of houses scattered across a huge park, immersed in greenery.

This is a story about the housing estate in my hometown. It explores the extent to which the history of the settlements' founding constitutes a dissonant heritage for its residents, with a primary focus on the local greenery. The narrative delves into the history of the garden suburb, seen from the viewpoint of a garden, the non-human inhabitants of the city.

Barbara Nawrocka is an architect living and working in Krakow. She works at the interface of architecture, installation and social action. Together with Dominika Wilczynska, she runs the architectural office Miastopracownia. In 2022, they designed the Polish Pavilion for the 23rd Triennale of Decorative Arts and Contemporary Architecture in Milan and curated the 10th edition of the Lower Silesian Architecture Festival 2022 in Wrocław dedicated to solidarity and care in design. Together with Dominika Janicka and Dominika Wilczynska, she is creating the 'Architects' Ball', an initiative addressing women in architecture and planning.