This is a rushed article so not edited; bear with me though, it expresses most of what I needed to say.
Lately, meaning especially in late June when construction started, an important topic in the local news in my hometown, Torun (a 200,000-resident city in northern Poland, located along the main river in the country, Vistula River) has been the topic of the pavilions on Philadelphia Boulevard.
My opinion is:
- Potentially very negative because although it is in theory outside of the protected area of the Old and New Town complex of Torun, which has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the pavilions could negatively impact the famous Torun panorama and the view of the Old Town from the road bridge that connects the main train station with the city centre and from the south bank of the river.
- Cool for maybe putting more life into the Boulevard, especially in the winter when the restaurant/bar barges (hehe, put not intended, but let’s call them barges from now on) are not operating. Also, who knows, if it’s an exceptional piece of contemporary architecture then I’m down. Of course, as long as it does not impact the UNESCO World Heritage Site status (we’ve held it for quarter of a century; it’d be senseless to give it up so easily now!).
But for a while now I’ve been of the opinion that what the Boulevard needs is more trees or some other cover to provide shade in the summer, because summers get really hot and sunny, and because the Boulevard is almost entirely exposed to the sun, it is basically a frying pan in the summer. It’s scorching. Really.
Imagine there were stalls with local art; maybe some information area with displays about the environmental and cultural history of this part of the Vistula River (like a Blue Humanities approach?); or something other that strengthens the sense of place and local identity, and makes the area attractive to locals as well as visitors.
As far as I know, there was no/little archeologist supervision during preparing the grounds for construction. And this is really bad because the area has been a human settlement since , and acted as an important port since the medieval times.
Some photographs from the construction process can be found in this article from Tylko Torun, embedded below:
What is your opinion on the pavilions?
Edit: So I did some talking and thinking about this topic today and I figured out that I probably would like the pavilions if they were very short and had green roofs. I wouldn’t like them, though, if they are to be in the form they are already… which is pretty tall (i.e. with high ceilings) and it seems that they have a viewing terrace on their roof, which I think is completely stupid and pointless and a green roof would be a much better solution. Much better. Seriously. It’s 2022, it’s time for a green roof on a public building in Torun. Also, the building is just too big, along with all the railings on the top and its own height. Scale it down and make it green and simple. It’s that simple. Who even hired those guys for this project?
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