Gdańsk-based project group Tabanda has won a nationwide competition for a public object organized by the City of Gdańsk and ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art.
The competition to rearrange the plot on the corner of Świętego Ducha and Przędzalnicza Streets was announced in August. Two teams, Tabanda (Gdańsk) and BudCud (Krakow) and two individual designers, Paweł Grobelny (Poznań) and Michał Gdak (Kielce) were invited to participate. Their task was to design street furniture, an art installation or a sculpture that could temporarily appear on the recently revitalized Świętego Ducha Street.
Competion Jury Members:
1. Krzysztof Kucharczyk / Director of the Kielce Design Institute
2. Jadwiga Charzyńska / Director of ŁAŹNIA CCA in Gdańsk
3. Dr hab. Jacek Dominiczak / professor at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts, Urban Interiors Design Studio
4. Prof. dr hab . Michał Stefanowski / head of the Design Department, Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts
5. Jacek Sosnowski / Curator of the Propaganda Gallery in Warsaw
1. Grzegorz Sulikowski / Municipal Historical Buildings Protection Department
2. Michał Szymański / Deputy Director for Public Space, Road and Green Area Administration
3. Karina Rembiewska / Representative of the Mayor of Gdańsk for Śródmieście
4. Agnieszka Prusinowska / The Housing Cooperative at Świętego Ducha 109
The Jury unanimously chose the proposal of Tabanda project group as the most interesting one.
Tabanda’s proposal was selected unanimously and recommended for implementation because it was the only design that made a sophisticated reference to architecture and was rooted in the local context. It evokes the spirit of this place and represents a modern way of drawing our attention to the currently non-existent terrace structure. It is valuable because of its openwork, light and delicate form. It does not dominate the space or interfere with the historical urban tissue. It is intriguing, provokes reflection and will shed light on the history of this place. It perfectly lends itself to spark a debate on reconstruction and treatment of old architectural objects and details. The design is in line with the suggestions and information obtained from the inhabitants during the consultation process; it does not generate noise. It is not fully functional, but represents an artistic object. The proposal symbolically responds to the idea put forward by the inhabitants, who would like the terrace to be rebuilt in the future. (…) – reads the jury’s motivation.
Designs proposed by other participants of the competition focused on street furniture which was more or less relevant to the architecture on site. However, according to the jury, Tabanda group’s design stood out because of its conscious reference to the context of the place, which was an important competition guideline.
― Tabanda’s proposal is a really interesting take at historical reconstructions To what extent do they have to be faithful? Should they be classical or should they rely on new materials, such as steel or glass? Tabanda’s design outlines the space, at the same time indicating a certain issue: perhaps this intervention may spark a debate on how to reconstruct the terrace at Świętego Ducha 109 in the future?” – says Krzysztof Kucharczyk, curator of the competition.
The ghost of old and new
Members of Tabanda group found inspiration for their project in prints showing the tenement at Świętego Ducha 109. Their openwork installation is made of three components that refer to the most characteristic elements of the original architecture: the entrance portal, the distinctive arches and decorative stairs. Between them are fragments of the structure that seem broken, disrupted.
“The remains of the structures were our base and point of departure for our art intervention, which is meant to attract the attention of passers-by and shed some light on the history of Gdańsk. We decided to accentuate the remains of the building, underline them and preserve their memory. These are the roots of our structure. (…)
Based on graphic materials, photographs and prints, we have analysed the historical structure of the building. Consequently, we have prepared a linear sketch underlining the characteristic features of the historical architecture. Shapes marked with yellow have been simplified and transferred to the space in the form of an openwork installation. The entrance portal, distinctive arch and decorative stairs leading to the building are three highlights meant to evoke the historical form of the building. The planned installation represents the spirit of the old architecture. Its openwork form and toned down, bright colour make the object seem like a sketch, a ‘ghost’ of the old building.” – wrote members of Tabanda group in the description of their proposal.
Interestingly, Tabanda have so far been known for their minimalist furniture, although all members of the group are architects by profession.
― It’s a really nice feeling to have our work appreciated by the jury. We’re all from Gdańsk! We’re more than happy to be able to realize our design in our own backyard, so to speak. We all live near the plot that was the subject of the competition and our project studio is also in the neighbourhood.– says Megi Malinowsky from Tabanda group.
More contemporary art in the centre of Gdańsk
ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art has long-standing experience in public actions, acquired, among others, in the course of running the Gdańsk Outdoor Gallery. Until now, though, most interventions took place in Dolne Miasto and the surrounding area. This time, contemporary art is entering Śródmieście, the centre of Gdańsk.
― We are improving the quality of public space in Śródmieście and taking actions that have been missing before. In the historical centre of Gdańsk, there are very few examples of contemporary art, and such elements have the potential to really enrich the space. The competition formula allows us to select the best, most interesting work. – says Karina Rembiewska, Representative of the Mayor of Gdańsk for Śródmieście
The structure proposed by Tabanda will be created by the end of the year. The new installation will appear on Świętego Ducha Street in the spring of 2019.
Participants of the competition:
Paweł Grobelny specializes in urban projects for specific locations – subtle, delicate and respecting the existing preconditions, to which they are skilfully adapted.
BudCud is an architectural and urban planning business run by Mateusz Adamczyk and Agata Woźniczka. BudCud stands out on account of its concept-based approach and original form of presenting projects – from colourful mock-ups to pop-art collages. The company has a number of realized projects under its belt, in Poland and abroad.
Tabanda is a well-known project group based in Gdańsk, composed of Małgorzata Malinowska, Filip Ludka and Tomek Kempa. Their trademark is plywood furniture, but not everyone is aware that all members of the group are architects by profession.
Michał Gdak was selected on account of his ideal combination of formal education in two disciplines. He studied architecture at the universities in the Netherlands, Denmark and the Wrocław University of Technology, and sculpture at the Academies of Fine Arts in Wrocław and Valencia. He won a number of competitions in the field of art and architecture.