Lecture ‘working together’ in Opole by Maarten van Bremen

by Maarten van Bremen on May 7, 2013

Two inspiring days in Opole, Poland

In January GROUP A received an invitation from SARP, the Association of Polish Architects, via Anna Szczegielniak, who worked in our office some years ago, to give a lecture at the Technical University of Opole in April. I took the opportunity to give a lecture about  working together and especially about co-creation on bigger projects at all levels.

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Day1
Exploring the surroundings, Bolke Island and the centre of Opole, a city of 130.000 inhabitants at the river Odra and capital of Upper Silesia. Opole has a quite young population with two Universities and has about 50 practicing architects in less than 20 practices with mainly local commissions. I experienced a mix of nicely renovated historic buildings, run-down but beautiful inter-bellum period buildings, quite some 11 storeys eastern-bloc housing and modern architecture. You can recognise the architects attitude to modern extensions, adaptions and new buildings; some pretty pure and conceptual, and some on a more commercial basis.

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In the afternoon I was invited as a guest critic in the “Teatr Projekt” class of Professor Obracaj, Mariusz, Marcin and Anna. In the teachers room we had a discussion about the difference in level and passion of the students and the task to put the relative new department of architecture on the university map. In the evening I was invited for a home dinner in a brand new apartment block of ‘medium quality’ according to the hosts.

Day2
Malgorzata Adamowicz-Nowacka, the local chairwoman of SARP, invited me at her office Biuro87A which she runs together with Marek Nowacki. We had a pleasant conversation about the architectural climate in Poland and the difference between getting commissions in our offices and countries in general. With db2 architekci, Iwona Wilczek and Mariusz Tenczynski, we left to visit two of their projects. One modern ‘concrete and glass’ house ‘with a joke’ where final finishes were done on the pool and interior. And a beautiful materialized museum entrance, -shop and -offices to a collection of traditional Upper Silesian buildings, one of their first realised projects.

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In the evening I presented the lecture to approximately 120 students and local architects at the department of Architecture. I gave a presentation addressing the added value of ‘working together’ in the field of the architect. After the introduction of the topic, some facts & figures about our office and the theoretical concept, the subject was explained by showing five of our projects because: every Project is unique, every Process is different but our Approach is similar. According to GROUP A, co-creation demands an open and pro-active Approach, implies an efficient and smooth Process and results in a clear and tailor-made Project. The lecture was well received with some inspiring questions and discussions went on later in the local pub over some local trendy beers.

To be continued….

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Complete lecture GROUP A University Opole

Competitions GROUP A participated in Poland:
Gallery of Modern Art, Opole, nov 2010
Museum of Polish History, Warsaw, apr 2009
NOSPR Concert Hall, Katowice, sept 2008
Special Art Zone, Lodz maart 2008
Solidarnosc Museum, Gdansk aug 2007

 

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