Quick! When you think of modern architectural powerhouses around the world, which destinations come to mind? Dubai. Shanghai. Scandinavia. The Netherlands. Warsaw. Warsaw? That's right. Poland's Warsaw. A city that is making its bold global mark on modern architectural design. And creating inviting lifestyle spaces for Poles in the process.
For starters, the artistic and multi award-winning 19th District. Situated in the heart of Warsaw, this gentrified area -- long seen as an outcast by Poles due to its history as a prisoner and labor camp deportation outpost during the war -- is arguably the pulse of the city. Stroll this JEMS Architects-designed neighborhood and immediately notice the minimalist approach. Wooden facades. Walls of windows creating outdoor transparency. A balance of symmetrical and irregular construction. And a self-sustaining infrastructure to boot. All urban eye candy and appeal for the design-obsessed. But merely a quick glance through a courtyard to an impressive, domed landmark is a fond reminder that historic Poland is just right around every corner.
Head to the southernmost district of Warsaw, Ursynów, and you'd be amidst the most quickly growing area of the city. With the prestigious Warsaw University of Life Sciences, stunning Park Natoliński nature reserve, and the biggest bicycle route network in the capital, Ursynów has become perhaps the most sought-after area to plant roots. Having been transformed from a late 20th century concrete jungle to a locale that offers a wide variety of cultural, natural, and educational experiences, it's no wonder Ursynów's population has shot to over 150 thousand. And its real estate to some of the most valuable in the city.
Ah, Żoliborz. Stroll through this quaint, charming, central district and immediately feel the artists' community that surrounds you. Full of charisma, Żoliborz's pre-war, functionalist structures of smaller townhouses with tiled, slanted roofs, set the tone for this peaceful, creative neighborhood. But don't let the whimsical, cafe-lined, green-spaced main square (named after one of Poland's most renowned artists, Czesław Niemen) of Żoliborz Artystyczny fool you. The modern architecture of the Maka-Sojka Architects' development is serious business. Bright, spacious, tastefully-crafted interiors sporting contemporary amenities are at the core of the building design. Only the strikingly colorful exteriors rival the nod to innovation. Making an even greater bid to Poles who are looking to reside in a comfortable, community-focused area that has it all.
As that celebrated Niemen's famous song "Strange Is This World" proclaims, the global architecture game is strangely (and profoundly) shifting. Could Warsaw be the next formidable player? You better believe it. And it's making its move.
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Material was created in cooperation with Polish TV station Domo+.