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Malopolska Garden of Arts – Poland

Atelier Ingarden & Ewy Architects, established in 1998, is a renowned Eastern European studio, responsible for various famous designs like Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Polish Embassy in Tokyo or Polish Pavilion at Expo 2005 in Aichi, just to name a few.  The man behind all these projects is no one else than Krzysztof Ingarden, well-known architect and former graduate of the Technical University of Krakow in Poland and Tsukuba University in Japan.  Ingarden & Ewy atelier stands for a new approach to design and experiments with diverse materials and forms in the effort to create extraordinary buildings that are a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern technological advancements.

Their latest project, Malopolska Garden of Arts in Cracow, is a great example of blending historical and contemporary architecture. This unusual cultural centre has been built on ruins of the 19th-century Victorian horse riding arena and complements the surrounding landscapes without giving up its modernity.

The complex, which was co-funded by the European Commission and cost approximately 11 million Euro, is an initiative of Krzysztof Orzechowski, director of Juliusz Slowacki Theatre, whose ambition was to establish a new cultural institution that would represent Krakow both nationally and globally.  With its area over 4000 square metres it meets the requirements to host the international sports occasions as well as concerts, conferences and art exhibitions.  The centre is also a new home to Malopolska Voivodeship Library and it is hoped that over the years it will become a popular meeting point for young artists, where they will organize workshops and develop creative projects.

Although, Ingarden admits that it was a challenge to build in a city so defined by history, The Garden of Arts has won the Prof. J. Bogdanowski Prize and became the best architecture realized in Krakow in 2012.

Photos by Krzysztof Ingarden

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