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Identity of the City

urban redevelopment concept 


bachelor diploma project

prof. dr hab. Weronika Wisniewska

Urban design concept of city fabric in relation to The Metropolitan Plan from 1937 in Lodz.

Lodz is an industrial city, with a history that’s unique in European urban planning. Rapid development in nineteenth century was stopped by the war conflicts at the beginning of XX th century. By this time, Łódź managed to grow 9-times, what led to overpopulation and following poor sanitation. Upon this, there was still no public space as it could have been expected from almost half-million populated city. 

The Metropolitan Plan from 1937 was one of a few attempts to improve poor domestic conditions and implement visionary spatial solutions. The outbreak of the II World War left the plan unrealized. But idea has not disappeared. 

In my diploma project I was supposed to observe, research and define the character traits of Lodz, its identity. I focused on a particular downtown area, which was a part of urban concept from 1937. Through sketches on the site I aimed at catching the compositional aspects, some unique values that make this city fabric inimitable.

The final design proposal is focused on the creation of a sense of a true, vibrant metropolis with respect for residents’ needs. Urban concept is based on the defined genius loci, the identity of a place with its history, memory and a sensitive examination of a possible redevelopment. 

The memory of the Synagogue, following the Jewish tradition, will remain in a cultural function. There’s no call for any material form of a remembrance, while the heritage of Jewish diaspora has been preserved for thousand years  in customs, religious rituals and festivals. Therefore, the square should remain unbuilt with just a modest addition for housing a workshop and artistic function. The underground remains will act as a palimpsest in an urban scale.

The frontage of the street is formed by four residential buildings situated perpendicular to the pavement. By this configuration, both an important space for a life between buildings has been created and visual relations with quarter’s interior. Thanks to the sloped terrain, the residents’ privacy is secured by lifted ground level, what prevent views from the street’s level. A plenty of trees will complement the frontage’s rhythm as well as reduce traffic’s noise.

The square at the end of the area is supposed to form a framework for a public life. Surrounded by concert hall, city offices and new public function will serve as an assembly point in the city space. Existing trees and proposed low wall indicate the boundaries between square and the traffic.  

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