Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

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Palace of Culture

Love or hate the architecture, the building serves its purpose as home to many varied and well-attended sporting and cultural activities, especially for children.

Only jerks would call for it to be demolished.

Coincidentally, the foreign affairs minister - Sikorski - has called for it to be replaced by a fountain. This might save the govt loads of money - at a devastating cost to the capital's (non-voting) children.

And, yup, my family uses it!

Re: Palace of Culture

From just a stand point of utilitarian structures the PKiN is a mixed bag. There are numerous auditoriums, cinemas and meeting rooms that make it a good venue for gatherings and programs. It is also grossly inefficient from an energy standpoint and is, because of its design peculiarities, particularly difficult to modernize for current and future technologies. In short, the operating and infrastructure costs of the behemoth take resources away from the very programs that benefit from its facilities.

While it is generally worth maintaining buildings of historical or social significance in spite of their inefficiencies, there is little of merit to commend the PKiN for such protection. Its architecture is a non-native abomination and its history and significance are tragic and worthy of being rejected.

So, what to do? Probably an extended program of replacing (or rehabilitating where possible) the peripheral buildings with facilities that have greater adaptability and utility. The central tower could never be made cost effective and precisely that central core would be an excellent location for exterior and open-air uses. A fountain, perhaps, or an amphitheater would be nice. Even a sports pitch in the summer and an ice rink in winter would be of tremendous value.

It is worth considering what elements of the current PKiN best serve the populace of Warsaw and to then find the most efficient and adaptable replacement that best serves those needs. If in the process one is able to create a new symbol of Polish venture while eliminating an insulting foreign intrusion, so much the better.

Re: Palace of Culture

They should put it to a public vote in Poland and then go with the majority.

Re: Palace of Culture

Architectural interest is in the eye of the beholder -and all tourists automatically take a photo of it, as it is the only landmark building in central Warsaw.

You can trust the politicians not to replace it with anything costing more than a few grosz, so you either have a landmark building with many useful facilities inside or you can have a fountain. Hmm - let me think about that one for a few seconds ...

As for energy efficiency, well, as we are entering a period of global cooling until 2030 we shouild all turn up the thermostat!! Only joking - we all (i) know it's going to be as big as the Y2K bug (ii) it's so we can have nuclear plants everywhere ... to save us! You couldn't make it up. No, honestly!!

Re: Palace of Culture

I like the building.

Re: Palace of Culture

And remember that the building is very well maintained, contains theatres, a cinema, part of a University, a conference centre, an ice rink, a concert hall, a nightclub, two restaurants and plenty of offices.

Not to mention all the useable space around it.

Re: Palace of Culture

I love the building and it's the first thing I look for when flying in to Okecin. Seeing it somehow makes me feel like I'm coming home.

That said, Slepowron's comments are hard to argue with, although like it or not, the Soviet influence is part and parcel of Warsaw's history; we are all the result of the experiences we have all lived through. If we deny certain elements in our genetic make-up, we inevitably give an inaccurate portrayal of ourselves. I'm very much for the 'warts and all' approach.

Maybe they could tear down the current builing and replace it with a modern day version as they did to great effect in Moscow recently?

Re: Palace of Culture

I am surprised they haven't turned it into a church. Wouldn't that be the ultimate....

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