Abstract:This article presents some projects implemented in the centres of German metropolises of strategic importance for the process of the urban revitalization and integration of a spatial metropolitan structure. The author analyzes the following examples: HafenCity in Hamburg, the revitalization of the former military and postindustrial waterfront grounds by the Havel River in Potsdam with special emphasis upon the Hans Otto Theatre and the City Park as well as three projects of key importance for the functional and spatial integration of the structure of Berlin after the year 1990: the governmental complex “Spreebogen”, the Central Railway Station and the restoration of the Museum Island. In conclusion, the author presents interdependences between the architecture of a metropolis and the architectonics of a network of public spaces and nodes, i.e. the structure which puts an urban space in order in the functional and spatial regard in the layer of the cultural symbolism and estheticism of an urban landscape. The notions of “a network of public spaces” and “nodes” also have an arranging value with reference to the social and economic aspects in a collection of attributes characterizing the models of a spatial metropolitan structure under research.
Abstract:Far-reaching reallocations have taken place in the basic groups of employment in postindustrial countries. In the societies of knowledge-based economy, the office staff (the creation, processing, distribution and commercialization of information) constitutes the largest working group. It is expressed through the implementation of offices areas. Two European metropolises are leading the way in this regard: London and Paris (more than 50 million km² of office space). In recent years, an important change in the approach to the location and development of offices took place in the urbanized area of the French capital. Referring this issue to Polish cities, one should state that they lag back behind the metropolises of Western Europe.
Abstract:This paper concerns the problems of social spaces in man’s place of residence within residential complexes in the city. The degree of creativity and the quality of shaping social spaces determine the climate, intimacy and individuality of a residential complex, the diversity of urban places in man’s sustainable housing environment, his attitude towards the surroundings, landscape and nature as well as the scale and location of an urban layout. The quality of social spaces is bound with the development of civilization and the society’s awareness of the need for the development and existence of these spaces. This paper presents four examples of selected new residential complexes in Berlin and one example from Hamburg. They were analyzed which made it possible to define some aspects concerning the formation of new social spaces meant for the local community in a given place of residence as well as housing architecture with its vicinity inseparable from these spaces.
Abstract:This article presents sports stadiums in the aspect of their history of construction, composition, problems related to redevelopment and contemporary role in the space of European cities. The selected examples confirm the phenomenon of sport as a domain which has influenced the architectural and urban structure of cities as well as their promotion on the global scale. The examples are also related to the fact that the presented cities organized important sports events (such as the World Championships in Italy 1990 or the European Championships in Austria 2008) which played a significant role in the construction of new stadium objects and the modernization of the existing ones. As a result, these cities have been able to apply for the organization of other competitions that contemporarily become a stimulator for revitalizing sports objects themselves as well as the grounds around them. These days, sports stadiums are perceived as prestigious urban objects being a mighty compositional form in a given space. In the evolution of this architectural form, one can follow the general rules forming sports infrastructure in the city with its cultural dimension.
Abstract:This paper presents the diverse typology of devastation in European cities during the Second World War. In practice, total war meant ruthless destruction of cities – those situated on the frontline defended as strongholds and those blown up on purpose. The bombing raids which destroyed Warsaw, Rotterdam, Coventry and other cities wrote a separate and unusually tragic chapter in the history of atrocities. Carpet and precise bombings organized by the Allies in retaliation within the adopted tactic of weakening the enemy’s morale ruined a number of German cities – Dresden makes a particularly drastic example in the descendants’ memory. In the years of World War II, a huge part of Europe’s urban heritage was lost irretrievably.
Abstract:The appeal of beautiful views is confirmed by the presence of tourists. A panorama often becomes an icon defining the identity of a city. In architectural practice, especially in Krakow, the protection of the silhouette yields to the investors’ particularist interests. The perception of a panorama depends on its esthetical values as well as the place of observation. Access to such places is also important for the attractiveness of a given locality. Examples of the beautiful panoramas of historical towns and their model protection can be found in Tuscany and the neighbouring regions. An analysis makes it possible to formulate their characteristic features:
– the lack of contemporary elements in the silhouette,
– the free arrangement of altitudinal dominants in the shape of towers which emphasizes land configuration,
– the homogeneity of the materials, colours and “granulation” of a building structure,
– the subordinate outskirts and surroundings which do not compete against the main architectural complex.
These principles ought to be restored in contemporary urban practice.
Abstract:Sacral architecture has always been a distinguishable element in the landscape. Cathedrals used to iconize the cities, dominate them, delight with the power and nobility of their external form, bewilder and strike with the artistry of interior decoration. The contemporary temple has lost landscape predominance. Its urban rank has deteriorated, too. Architecturally, it can hardly compete against extravagant structures designed by today’s archistars. Questions about the shape of a temple in the contemporary cultural landscape still trigger off discussions and arouse doubts: Where is its place in the changing public space? Will man redefine and create his sacred places in new liquid reality? How will he do it?
Abstract:This paper presents several examples of new residential buildings and complexes implemented in London. The character of these investments is adjusted to the general state policy of sustainable development promoted by the British government. Among other issues, it includes the revitalization of postindustrial grounds, the limitation of the uncontrolled territorial growth of cities, the development of green areas and the promotion of public transport.
Abstract:A certain narrow trend in late modernist architecture exposing technical solutions as the elements of an architectural form is defined as high tech which unambiguously indicates advanced technology. In the light of the purist forms of early modernism, the ideas of high tech appear as a search for originality through the discovery of contemporary ornamentation.
Abstract:The urge for the sustainable character of buildings, resulting from the search for a contemporary relation between architecture and nature as well as attention to natural resources, has influenced the image of today’s human living environment. More and more frequently, such natural elements as water or greenery are applied in the composition of structures or architectural and urban enclosures. The application of these elements usually results from their technical and functional values – the ability to accumulate energy, to support the preservation of native ecosystems, to purify water, to create the microclimate of an enclosure, to convert carbon dioxide etc. Owing to some rediscovered building materials, however, their appearance produces a brand new image of architecture bound with the surroundings. The architecture-nature relationship does not only proceed at the meeting point of a building and its surroundings anymore. Structures form a landscape with respect for the topography and biological characteristics of a given area, whereas natural elements penetrate into an enclosure producing a kind of an extended entrance zone blurring the borders between a building and its surroundings. At the same time, architecture tries to recreate the relationship between Man and Nature making a favourable environment meant for residence, work and recreation introducing a new aesthetical and social dimension within the architecture-nature relation.