L E N I N G R A D
The "Leningrad" project tells about some of the most characteristic elements of the architecture of Polish cities. Individual blocks, housing estates of various sizes and entire newly created districts were a symbol of modernity, progress and getting up from the knees for many decades. Those cities that at that time could boast of having an element of concrete architecture within their borders automatically gained rank and prestige in the region, voivodeship and country.
Less than three decades after the final opening of the "Iron Curtain" the number of such facilities existing in an unchanged form is still impressive and constitutes the first contact with the outside world for a large part of society. At present, however, it does not arouse so many positive emotions as in the times of their formation. Already at the end of the 1960s, voices began to appear in the architects' environment, expressing serious doubts about the legitimacy, equity and quality of centrally controlled construction. The unification of the Polish housing space has led to a situation in which the same objects can be found in Przemyśl, Jelenia Góra, Suwałki and Szczecin, the introduction of monoculture automatically pushed the development of other technologies beyond the area of engineering interests. Wanting to draw the best in their minds patterns from the Soviet Republics, the authorities adapted the reality to the possibility of using one type of building material - a large plate.
The title "Leningrad" is the name of one of the large-panel construction systems used in the PRL period. It was introduced at the latest from everyone, in the eighties of the twentieth century. Imported directly from the USSR, it was intended primarily for Soviet troops which stationed in the country by the Vistula river. Other names of systems already intended for the whole society and used in the period of People's Poland are: PBU, WUF-T, OWT, WWP, Domino, Dabrowa, Rataje, Winogrady, W-70 and Szczecinski. Almost each of the mentioned technologies has been changed locally. A large-block technique and a frame construction type called "H-frame" were also used to erect residential buildings.
The free market economy has exposed all the imperfections of large-panel systems. Each stage of the implementation of residential architecture according to this type of technology, from production, through transport, to erection of buildings, proved to be uneconomical, ineffective, and from the perspective of time harmful to the environment. Factories of houses in which components for the construction of blocks were produced ceased to be profitable and were liquidated, privatized or transformed one after the other at a fairly rapid pace. The program was closed, the socialist system collapsed, but the effects of its policy for many years will still be present in the public space, regardless of how many layers of paint we would like to cover them.
Photos included in the project were made in 2016-2018.
The entire project has over three hundred photographs taken all over Poland.
Poznań, ul. Wojciechowskiego, system Szczeciński
Katowice, ul. Skargi, konstrukcja monolityczna, żelbetowa
Wrocław, ul. Żelazna, system Wrocławska Wielka Płyta
Piotrków Trybunalski, ul. Targowa, system Szczeciński
Gdańsk, ul. Obrońców Wybrzeża, system wielkoblokowy
Tychy, ul. Bielska, konstrukcja szkieletowa, żelbetowa
Pruszków, ul. Platanowa, system OWT-67/N
Poznań, os. Orła Białego, system Rataje
Świętochłowice, ul. Solidarności, system W-70
Szczecin, ul. Matejki, system Leningrad
Rybnik, ul. Orzepowicka, system Fadom