Centre for City Sports
Client: private initiative
Location: Warsaw, Śródmieście District
Grzegorz Gądek, POLSKA MŁODYCH (initiator)
BUDCUD: Mateusz Adamczyk
CENTRALA: Simone de Iacobis, Małgorzata Kuciewicz
MOKO: Michał Gratkowski, Marta Frejda
DSK Family: Tomasz Kotrych
KAPS: Monika Morawiak
WWAA: Marcin Mostafa, Natalia Paszkowska, Agata Woźniczka
INFO Magazine: Kuba Perzyna
Forum Rozwoju Warszawy: Patryk D. Zaremba
A contemporary city is an experimentarium constantly evolving in result of economic, cultural and sociological development of its inhabitants. Warsaw is also undergoing continuous changes. The city denizens have finally discovered new ways of spending their leisure time – they are meeting in cafes, arranging picnics in parks and neighbouring woods, visiting museums and exhibitions. At the weekend they are going out to play board games in pubs or cafes or to get wild at a club gig. They have believed in the potential of a bicycle transport, they are taking part in city marathons or other sports events, they are attending matches of their beloved club. And they are more and more eager to participate in all sorts of spontanous city projects. The design of a square dedicated to urban sports marks our endeavour to fight for creating a high quality public space in our city, a place charged with good emotions, a place of joyful and spontanous behaviours. Our ‘Seven Years Stadium’ is to be a place for practising any kind of urban sport or activity – it may be perfecting a kickflip switch noolie, discovering the pleasure in sitting on the grass and observing the Warsaw night sky or simply taking a walk accompanied by an interesting conversation partner.
The plot intended to be transformed into the City Sports Square is a binder of sorts. Urban planning amalgam. The quarter contained within Marszałkowska, Królewska, Zielna and Próżna streets is located in the very centre of the city and is surrounded by built-up areas of totally disparate urban character. On one side the allotment borders with gleaming high rising buildings, on the others with a previous ghetto and a plethora of kebab kiosks. It is difficult to assign some value or hierarchy to a place like that so the authorities’ decision was to simply grow grass on it and allow for its peaceful vegetation. But the potential of the allotment lies exactly in its location – it is within an easy reach to everyone and its positioning next to main city arteries turns any activities performed here into a kind of a show. ‘The Seven Years Stadium’ is a symbiotic area. A place where the classic park entertainment ( walking, sitting and reading on a park bench) mixes with practising extreme sports, with active usage of urban setting. The counterculture of city sports ( skateboarding, parkour, climbing, break dance, etc.) is supposed to activate the older generation of people, increase the dynamics of the place, accelerate the pace of things happening around.
Warsaw’s authorities made the plot available for development for only a limited period of time – 7 years, so the project has to have a temporary character. The scale of our undertaking is in a profound contrast with the scale of an immense project of building two gigantic stadiums in Warsaw in preparation for Euro 2012 – a National Stadium and Legia Stadium. SYS can function as an information and experience database for future investments of this kind, in Warsaw and all over the country. Our square is an inverted stadium. In the central part of it there are some picturesque, green hillocks surrounded by a strip dedicated to sporting activities – „a track’. The Square of Urban Sports is divided into two functional zones: the zone for practicing more extreme sports, for younger people and the zone dedicated to older Warsaw’s denizens. The zones constitute archipelagoes of islands emerging from the existing pavement tiles.