Polish practice Artchitecture has finished phase one in its revamp of Warsaw’s ‘unkempt’ riverside, cleaning up a 2km stretch of land along the Vistula River.
The studio, together with landscape architects RS-AK, created new pavilion spaces for bars, restaurants and galleries as well as public resting spots and a viewing platform. It has also redesigned pedestrian tunnels, underneath a busy motorway, that connect the riverbank to the rest of the city.
‘Generally, the Warsaw riverbank fell into a very unkempt state on the west bank, particularly after a major north-south road artery was built in the 1970s,’ said Mark Kubaczka, director of Artchitecture. ‘The aim of the competition was simply to come up with a design solution that would bring people back to the riverside – to make it a destination.’
Information centres, beaches, playgrounds and pedestrian and bicycle links – connecting Warsaw’s Old Town to the recently built Copernicus Science Centre – are among the additions slated for the project’s second phase.
‘Having been brought up in London, I was really astonished to find how little the riverside was used a public space here in Warsaw,’ added Kubaczka. ‘Perhaps that is also something to do with the “floodable” nature of the river, which means that all of the pavilions are designed to float when the river floods.’
Two larger, ‘floating’ restaurant spaces as well as a canoe and river bus station will also follow in the second phase, which could be complete in two years.