Mimicking the wave-like designs of architectural guru Jerzy Sołtan, a series of 12 public benches have been unveiled in the city center as part of a campaign humanize Pl. Defilad and reconnect it to the people of Warsaw.
First submitted as part of 2017’s civic budget, the idea was coined by Olga Gastecka who sought to enhance the area’s public space by adding city furniture that would provide “a place of rest for thousands of rushing people.”
To do so, it was decided to follow the aesthetics of Jerzy Sołtan, a modernist architect that had previously worked under the wing of Le Corbusier, before later serving as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and at Harvard.
Lauded as one of the groundbreaking architects of the era, Sołtan’s credits included designing the Polish pavilion at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, the Warszawianka leisure complex and Warszawa Śródmieście train station.
It was at the latter that his benches first debuted sixty-years back, and whilst the originals have largely disappeared, they remain fondly remembered as outstanding examples of Polish design philosophy.
Granted permission from Sołtan’s estate to replicate them, the city has spent zł. 90,000 on the project, with the results already meeting with blanket approval from both the media and nostalgists. Each stretching 4.5 meters in length, find them in the no-man’s land between Pl. Defilad and Al. Jerozolimskie.
Photos: Zarząd Zieleni m.st. Warszawy