Winners of the 2016 European Prize for Urban Public Space were announced recently in Barcelona. The international jury, composed of members representing seven European institutions with high reputation in professional and organizational architecture and urban planning, awarded the work of Arch. Robert Konieczny – “Przełomy” Centre for Dialogue with the prize for best urban public space in Europe.
Arch. Robert Konieczny, founder and leader of KWK Promes architecture studio, will be a keynote speaker at RIFF BUCHAREST 2016, with a presentation of the winning project “Przełomy” Centre for Dialogue.
About the project
The new “Przełomy” Centre for Dialogue is tasked with ending the officially imposed oblivion which, after the Second World War, stripped Szczecin and the whole region of their history. In addition to filling this memory hole, the new museum provided an opportunity to put an end to the ambiguity of the empty urban space which had not yet found a solution to the matter of its transition between built-up area and public space.
The building is partly underground and located in the very centre of Solidarity square. It has two subterranean floors which house a permanent exhibition on the recent history of Szczecin, as well as spaces which are especially fitted out as venues for temporary exhibitions, conferences, debates, educational workshops and commemorative events. The museum’s roof has gently sloping sides which constitute the ground of the new square. Hence the built-up volume only emerges in the north-eastern corner of the square where, at a crossroads between two streets, it offers a conventional urban façade in which the exit doors of the museum are located. Now, the act of remembering and the everyday business of living are superimposed in underground and aboveground levels to fill an absence of memory in the social fabric and an absence of activity in the urban fabric. The city, afflicted by both traumatic memories and unjustifiable oblivion, urgently needed to reconstruct the foundations of its identity. Meanwhile, the inviting slopes of Solidarity Square, which attract sleds in the winter and skateboards in the summer, constitute two amphitheatres from which to contemplate the spectacle of the comings and goings of daily life.
About the speaker
Robert Konieczny graduated at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and in 1996 he received the certificate of New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In 1999 he founded KWK Promes architecture studio and in 2007 he was listed among 44 best young architects of the world published by ‘Scalae’. The same year, “Wallpaper” magazine listed KWK Promes as one of the 101 most exciting architecture studios in the world.
Konieczny is one of the most frequently published abroad polish architects and he has several prestigious awards, including an award by the Minister of Culture in Poland for his outstanding achievements in the field of architecture as a second architect ever gaining this kind of prize.
In 2012 he became an independent expert for the Mies van der Rohe Foundation. Konieczny was a nominee of the European Award of Mies van der Rohe Foundation eight times. Moreover, he is a holder of the prestigious award for the House of the Year 2006, winning with the Aatrial House as the best housing project in a competition organized by World Architecture News. Year 2008 brought him another prize of The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum ‘Europe 40 under 40′.
The year 2008 had even more coming, as the International Jury of Museum of Architecture and Design in Chicago put the Aatrial House and the Hidden House on the list of the best houses in the world. In 2009 the Safe House was in the World Architecture Festival Awards 2009 finale among the best realizations in the world and the OUTrial House was a finalist of LEAF Awards 2009 in Berlin for its innovatory design.
2016, Joint winner the European Prize for Urban Public Space
nominee of the Mies van der Rohe Award for eight times
2011 Annual Prize of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland
2008 ‘Europe 40 under 40′ Award
2009 World Architecture Festival Awards – finalist
2009 LEAF Awards – finalist