Patchwork: The Architecture of Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak

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Curated by Michał Duda and Małgorzata Devosges-Cuber, Museum of Architecture in Wrocław.
AIA New York | Center for Architecture. 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012 | 212-683-0023. USA AIA New York | Center for Architecture. 536 LaGuardia Place, Nueva York, NY 10012 | 212-683-0023. EEUU
February 28, 2019 - May 18, 2019
Patchwork: The Architecture of Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak is organized by Center for Architecture, in collaboration with the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław.

Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak

Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak was born on October 29, 1920 in Tarnawce, she died on June 4, 2018, Poland. In 1950, she graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Wrocław University of Technology, and later also worked mainly in Wrocław. Polish architect, representative of modernism, member of the Association of Architects of the Republic of Poland (1951).

One of her first projects, no longer related to the reconstruction of monuments, was a primary school built in 1955-1960 at Podwale Street. Although the project was created while the doctrine of socialist realism was still in force, the building was modernist, with a modern, geometric shape with elevation, composed of contrasting surfaces of white plaster, black marblit (opaque colored glass) and dark terrazzo. Unfortunately, today the building is clad in blue-painted styrofoam, game invoices and colors, developed by Grabowska - Hawrylak were destroyed.

In 1957, together with her team from "Miastoprojekt", Grabowska-Hawrylak designed the Researcher's House, a 10-storey residential building for academic staff of Wrocław's higher education institutions. Built on the basis of reinforced concrete frame construction, it was the first modernist building after the war, built in the capital of Lower Silesia. An even more modern project of Grabowska-Hawrylak was a gallery, built in 1958-1960 at ul. Kołłątaja. The block is located on a platform elevated in relation to the street. The ground floor of the house was designated for shops or service outlets, the remaining of the eight floors were occupied by two-level apartments, practically unknown at that time in Poland.

The gallery at Kołłątaja, called the mesonet, had a dynamic, chiaroscuro façade, thanks to its deep loggias, one of which corresponds to one residential section. In 2017, the building was entered into the register of monuments, thanks to which its unique form will be preserved.

In "Miastoprojekcie" Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak designed individual objects and entire teams, eg in the early 1960s a vision of a housing estate in Gajowice was created. In the housing estate, she also created, among others, commercial and service pavilions and a school building at Grochowa Street (today completely rebuilt). However, by far the most well-known realization of the Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak team is the Plac Grunwaldzki housing estate, colloquially known as "Manhattan" or "sedesowcami". The preliminary design of the estate was approved in 1967, construction began three years later, the first tenants moved to the blocks in 1972. At the heart of the city, near the Oder, Grunwaldzki Bridge, with a view of Ostrów Tumski, six 16-storey blocks have been erected, integrated with three one-, two- and three-storey commercial and service pavilions. The whole complex was located on a platform elevated above the street level, under which garages and parking lots were located. This stratification was to serve the functional and optical separation of the "urban" and "residential" zones.

The most characteristic element of the estate are elevations of high-rise houses, which were erected in a technology filled with prefabricated elements of the "H" frame. Their balconies and windows were covered with slabs of concrete prefabs, rounded and pushed to each other. These panels - covers give the blocks an individual character, they also constitute an acoustic barrier against the noise of a busy street. The estate in terms of form and, above all, the manner of finishing stood out in comparison with other such implementations, it was widely commented and described.

Like many architects in those years, and Grabowska-Hawrylak created a lot of unrealized competition projects. Their analysis shows that the architect who began her career rebuilding monuments, felt much better in modernist and even ... futuristic aesthetics. Architectural projects from the 1970s can be considered as such, eg the utopian concept of the Eco System development, created for the Terra-1 exhibition organized by Stefan Müller in 1975, or the hotel and service complex project that was to be built near Dominikański Square (at then Dzierżyński Street). The designer gave her a completely different character to her own house, which she designed in 1978-1984 at Kochanowskiego St. in Wrocław. Composed of two semi-detached segments, it houses four apartments. It was built of brick, covered with a steep and high, sloping roof, supplemented with a wooden detail. Although its seemingly compact shape seems to be compact, dominated by a high roof, there are many elements that diversify the building - glass bay windows, covering arcaded entrances, walls, built-in flowerbeds, etc.

At the end of the 1970s and in the following decades, when the economic crisis stopped major state-owned investments and architecture began to be ruled by postmodernism, many designers - including Grabowska-Hawrylak - began to design smaller housing estates constructed on the basis of traditional quarters of pedestrian buildings, with a historic urban model . Although since 1981 the architect was already retired, she has developed several such projects, including a vision of a large complex of urban development in Oleśnica. While these concepts have never been realized, the material form took on one of the last architectural designs - a church project created in 1990 - the monument of the Millennium of the Wrocław Diocese Redeemer of the World at ul. Baltic. The powerful, brick edifice draws attention thanks to the façade of openwork towers made of reinforced concrete truss.

She was the wife of prof. Henryk Hawrylak, a specialist in the field of mining machines; mother of Katarzyna Hawrylak-Brzezowska, urban conservator of monuments (1995-2017) in Wrocław, architect Maciej Hawrylak and professor of physics Paweł Hawrylak.

Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, one of the eminent architects of modernism in Poland, laureate of the Honorary SARP Award (1974). She was buried in the cemetery of St. Wawrzyńca in Wrocław.



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