The Małopolska Garden of Arts
Ingarden & Ewý
By George Peter Surovov
The Małopolska Garden of Arts (MGA) is the work of Polish studio Ingarden & Ewý, and is currently one of the most celebrated building in Kraków, Poland. With the help of structural remnants of a former horse-riding arena, the MGA merges a theatre and library, bringing a contemporary aura adjacent to Kraków's historic center.
In 2004 Krzysztof Orzechowski, Director of the Juliusz Słowacki and Janusz Sepiol theaters, initiated a competition held by the Union of Polish Architects to create a new cultural institution in Kraków. MGA was the winning entry, with a strategic location opposite of perhaps the first Polish cultural institution founded in 1758, the Wojewodzka Regional Library. The site was already a destination for students and emerging culture and was a natural fit for enriching the cultural growth in Kraków.
The MGA is a physical and institutional hybrid between Juliusz Słowacki Theatre and the Malopolska Voivodeship Library. The slatted clay façade hangs on a glass frame, creating a T- shaped footprint, which extends over the existing library and the new multifunctional theatre with a garden courtyard. The library is situated in the western, or vertical, wing of the T-shape, while the theatre stretches north to south, horizontally.
The new theatre embellish upon a renovation of an old storage facility to an adaptable hi-tech venue that can operate an as a studio theatre, conference center, or exhibition space. A transformative entrance of industrial beams frames a foyer garden, consisting of alternating planting beds and benches, with a lone yet striking maple tree. This creates an inviting public space, which welcomes users into a cultural atmosphere.
The library has a separate entrance fitted to the sidewalk, bordering an additional garden passageway to a side entrance of the theater. Its three floors now include a modern art exhibit, multimedia sections, and café.
The collaboration between architects
Krzysztof Ingarden and Jacek Ewý, represents a contextual game
between "mimesis and the abstraction". The building does not
literally resurrect its form from its context, but uses it as an
inspirational reference of geometry and composition of its
neighbouring facades. Following the code of scale and respecting
existing linear elements allows the contemporary materials to
appear in a conversation with the surrounding neighbourhood.
The architects' understanding of environmental gestures is clearly
executed in this design.
MGA was awarded the Janusz Bogdanowski Award for making the greatest contribution to architecture in Kraków in 2012. It was also most recently the winner of the 2013 Architizer A+ Popular Vote Award.
Facts about The Małopolska Garden of Arts
Slowacki Theater in Krakow
Floor usable area: 4330,76 m²
Multifunctional hall: 299 seats
Club cinema: 78 seats
Address: Rajska Street 12, Krakow, Poland
Architecture: Ingarden & Ewý Architects (IEA) www.iea.com.pl
Author: Krzysztof Ingarden, architect, Ph.D.
Collaboration: Jacek Ewý, architect
Interior design: Ingarden & Ewý Architects and 'Pracownia S.C.': Agnieszka Cwynar- Łaska, Marta Spodar
Acoustics: Inter-Eko Sp. z o.o., Jan Adamczyk, Lesław Stryczniewicz, Dorota Szałyga
Stage technology: Przedsiębiorstwo Projektowo-Usługowe "OTO", Tomasz Ostrowski, Zbigniew Kośka
Structure: GSBK Biuro Konstrukcyjne - Mariusz Szefer, Jarosław Zdeb. Samsoor Shaheed
HVAC: TW Engineers Sp. Z o.o., Tadeusz Wołek, Monika Pantoł, Maria Eustachiewicz
Electrical Systems: ES-System - Jan Wachacki, Paweł Bugno, Bożena Paluchowska
Roads: Altrans, Stanisław Albricht, Ewa Dudek,
Landscape design: Land Arch - Karolina Bober, Małgorzata Tujko
Fire consultant: Janusz Siata
Project engineer: Lider: OTS-IP Sp. z o.o. Kraków; Partner: Dom Inżynierski PROMIS SA, Szczecin
General contractor: PBO Skobud Sp. z o.o., Żywiec
Last updated: December 19, 2013