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The Things of Warsaw / Room of Architectural Drawings

Odbitka rysunku Macieja Nowickiego wykonana na papierze światłoczułym (ozalid) przedstawiająca założenie parlamentu w Warszawie, MHW 279_Pl

Print of a drawing showing the parliament complex in Warsaw

The presented drawing was created as one of the architectural visions of postwar development of the centre of Warsaw. Maciej Nowicki (1910–1950) produced the drawing while being a member of the Architectural Discussion Studio at the Warsaw Reconstruction Office, which was at the time the largest architectural office in the world, employing c.1,500 architects. It was established in 1945 with the goal of reconstructing Warsaw after damages inflicted during World War II (1939–1945). The drawing presents a perspective of the southern meander of the Vistula River. The vantage point is a new bridge, whose extension was to lead to the city centre through a tunnel in the escarpment underneath the edifice of the National Museum located on Jerozolimskie Avenues and extended akin to a gate.

Visible from the bridge is Warsaw rise with new buildings of the parliament and a wide open amphitheatre inscribed within. Deemed too avant-garde and impossible to build in the given conditions, the visionary architecture of the future never materialised. The discussions pursued at the time included disputes concerning the extent to which the reconstructed capital city was supposed to become a continuation or a negation of Warsaw’s history to date. Even the supporters of the city’s Modernist redevelopment found Nowicki’s design too radical and detached from reality.

In 1945, Nowicki left for the United States where he launched a brilliant architectural career. He gained a place in the history of architecture as the designer of the North Carolina State Fair Hall with a suspended circular roof structure. At the time, he was Dean of the School of Design in Raleigh; he had created an innovative roof structure several years prior, while still in Warsaw. Nowicki died at the age of forty in an airplane crash. Print of a drawing showing the parliament complex in Warsaw.

Print of a drawing showing the parliament complex in Warsaw
MHW 279/PL
29,6 × 42,1 CM

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