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WARSAW INCLINATION: the advancement of human motion within the urban landscape

Part 1 Project 2009
Lukas Vetrovec
University for the Creative Arts Canterbury UK
WARSAWinclination:the advancement of human motion within the urban landscape


The presented project is situated in Warsaw, Poland. The site is a central block dominated by the tallest building in Poland, which was commissioned by Stalin in 1952 as a gift to the people of Poland. At present, the site is being used as an uncoordinated space for parking. Human movement through the site is dislocated and awkward.



The proposal, which is informed by the ideas of Paul Virilio, consists of installing four varied centralised strips of human movement to cater for the movement to travel, movement to a location on and around the site and movement for the sake of exercise and outing. These strips vary in incline and texture and hence allow the human to make a choice of his speed and mode of movement.
The categorisation of ski slopes has been adapted as a useful grounding for the strips in Warsaw inclination.

the GREEN strip connects the green park areas within the site (mild incline, grass, Astroturf, vegetation, trees, smooth).

The BLUE strip connects the squares within the site (mild inclines, paving, stone, slightly rough).

The RED strip connects the modes of transportation (varied medium inclines, recycled rubber, timber, paving).

The BLACK strip is a loop, primarily for the sake of exercise and outing (extreme inclines, expert, fast, concrete, timber).


The strips converge at the primary access to the site. Here they swell, creating the interior of the nexus building. The strips form the floors, ceilings, ramps, and oblique walls of free standing programmes for performance, socialising and design. A collision between the dynamic movement of varying speeds and the programmes enhance one another – luring static to become dynamic and vise versa. The ground folds and swells further, offsetting from the strips to create the enclosure and superstructure of the building.

Lukas Vetrovec

The regimented, pompous bulk of the Palace of Science and Culture - PKIN - looms over central Warsaw. An austere almost-skyscraper sits on the kind off stripped neoclassical podium new regimes so often anxiously deploy to affect the imprimatur of authority. The building wears its decorations like a Soviet general - or maybe like the proverbial lipstick on a pig. This is Stalin's 1955 demonstration of power and influence written in stone: a blunt instrument in the heart of the city. In 2009 this is a contested territory: many who have grown up in its shadow are fond of it - those who are older or perhaps more politically conscious would see it demolished. Present city plans propose adding a new art gallery and retail development - which while reinforcing elements of its geometry, may moderate its influence on its immediate surroundings, while leaving the rather inelegant but familiar tower to mark the Centrum as it has for over 50 years. Warsaw has experienced such trauma over the last century that one wonders if to an extent there is a mood against further erasure and remaking of a significant site, whatever its genesis. Lukas has engaged with the site by observing the informal occupation of the vast parade ground spaces fronting Marszalkowska and the fragmented park spaces to the North and South. Predicating the proposal on differentiated movement, the scheme sets out a dynamic and fluid counterpoint to the stolid PKIN: a liminal terrain composed of walkways, ramps, nodes which aggregate at a plexus to the south of the site, housed in a building which seems to emerge as a product of the forces the new movement vectors impose. Informed by Virilio’s work on the inclined plane this proposal offers a slippery and vibrant counterpoint to Uncle Joe’s dead hand.

Mr John Bell
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