Sopot

Alga Pavilion - A Communist Modernist ruin

more than a year ago

The three cities may each have their own distinctive architectural style but they all share one - Communist era Modernism

The three cities each have their own distinct architectural styles, another fact which makes a visit to the Tri-city all the more interesting. From Gdansk’s rebuilt Hanseatic old town through Sopot’s late 19th and early 20th century Secessionist or Art Nouveau influenced villas and Gdynia’s 20th century Modernist style with its buildings heavily influenced by the ships in the nearby harbour, the Tri-city has a lot to offer those interested in architecture.

There is one style and period, however, which is often overlooked and the creations of which are today ignored and unloved. The post-war Modernist style is largely unloved for a few different reasons. First of all, this style represents the communist era and is disliked by many for that alone. Others see the style as ugly, unfeeling and harsh both in style and types of materials used. Quite often the quality of materials used was sub-standard, due to economic considerations, and this has resulted in already difficult to love buildings becoming eyesores as they have deteriorated and not been maintained.

The post-war Modernist style is something that connects the three cities though and each has its own examples, which are worth searching out. Some of these buildings are slated for demolition although there appears to be a growing campaign not just to prevent some from being demolished but instead to have the buildings listed and properly restored to their 1950s, 1960s or 1970s glory. A number of Poles have recognised that, love them or hate them, some of their communist era buildings were considered revolutionary and cutting-edge designs at the time they were unveiled. It has also been realised, possibly through the loss of other such buildings around the country, that these buildings represent a period of Poland’s history that cannot simply be airbrushed from memory. Many older Poles are increasingly nostalgic as well, maybe not for the government of that time, but for the memories they have of the period. Finally, new developments such as the one in lower Sopot, have met with quite a bit of local criticism for a perceived lack of character and not reflecting the atmosphere of the city. The new developments have sometimes rekindled love for the old, dilapidated buildings of the post-war period.

Here are some of the better known example of post-war Modernism in the Tri-city. Some are detested; some rather loved, but most are in need of investment.
Alga

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