Date: 23.10, Monday, 17.00

Place: Art Hotel, Ist floor, Kominkowa room, 20 Kiełbaśnicza St.

Organisation: Agnieszka Tomaszewicz, Joanna Majczyk

Anna and Jerzy Tarnawski are architects-creators from Wrocław, member of the Association of Polish Architects, graduates of the Department of Architecture of the Polytechnic of Wrocław.

Anna Tarnawska (nee Żemoytel) was born in 1923 in Vilnius, where she completed a primary school, a middle school and a secondary school run by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Jerzy Tarnawski was born in Warsaw in 1926. After graduating from the private Jan Kasprowicz Primary School, he went on to study at the Middle School of the Association of Mazovian Education, which was stopped by the outbreak of the war in September 1939. During the occupation he continued education at Tadeusz Reytan Middle School; in 1942 he joined the Union of Armed Struggle, which later evolved into the Home Army. After the war Tarnawski was ordered to leave Warsaw and settle down in Wrocław, where in 1945 he began studies at the Faculty of Mechanics and Electrical Engineering of the Polytechnic of Wrocław. One year later, Anna Tarnawska came to Wrocław.

In 1946 they both started studies at the Architecture Unit of the Department of Civil Engineering of the Polytechnic of Wrocław, which was later transformed into an independent Department of Architecture. They graduated in 1951. Before that, in 1948, they started work at Wrocław Planning Office, led by architect Tadeusz Ptaszycki; they participated in the organisation of the Regained Territories Exhibition. In 1952 they became members of the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects (SARP) and began working at Miastoprojekt Wrocław, an architectural company.

Until the mid-1960s the Tarnawskis specialised in housing and commercial buildings. Among their projects was the reconstruction of the historical centre of Wrocław (designed in 1953), the development of the former pl. Młodzieżowy (today: ul. Świdnicka 2–8b; Szewska 78–81, Oławska 1–5; designed in 1954–1957), housing estates: Nowy Targ (designed in 1956–1957) and “Wojewodzianka” near ul. Powstańców Śląskich (designed in 1960), and over a dozen other residential buildings in the Old Town (designed between 1959 and 1963). The architects also designed housing estates that were built in Oleśnica, Oława (1 Maja Housing Estate) and in Jelenia Góra (Wzgórze Żymierskiego Housing Estate in today’s ul. Grota-Roweckiego, designed in 1963–1965).

In 1965 the Tarnawskis came up with the concept for a modern computing centre to be used by the Elwro Wrocław Electronic Factory, which produced computing machines. The first completed project – the ZETO Electronic Computing Technology Plant – served as the model for over a dozen similar constructions all over Poland. The crowning achievement of their work on specialised research facilities was the design of the Dolmed Regional Prophylactic Centre, which was designed in 1974–1975 and received numerous awards.

In the 1980s the architects left for Algeria, where they spent three years designing public utility buildings, such as schools and hospitals. After the political transformations of 1989 the Tarnawskis set up their own design office, which since 1992 has functioned as Tarnawscy-Frąckiewicz Design Office (currently managed by Katarzyna Tarnawska and Jerzy Frąckiewicz).

Anna and Jerzy Tarnawski are the laureates of the Minister of Construction and Building Materials Industry Award. Jerzy Tarnawski has received the Commander’s Cross of Polonia Restituta, Anna Tarnawska – the Silver Cross of Merit. In 1979, Jerzy Tarnawski received the status of Creator; Anna received it one year later. In 2012 they received the Honorary Award of the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects.

The Tarnawskis are representatives of the first generation of architects educated at the Department of Architecture of the Polytechnic of Wrocław. They actively participated in the reconstruction of the city after the war. Their projects still influence the architectural face of Wrocław. Anna and Jerzy Tarnawski are credited with the development of Wrocław’s post-war modernism; several of their works have been inscribed on the list of the Monuments of Contemporary Culture.

More information about Anna and Jerzy Tarnawski can be found in one of the volumes of the monographic series "Wrocław Masters of Architecture", which was published by the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects: Majczyk J., Tomaszewicz A., Anna i Jerzy Tarnawscy, published by SARP O/Wrocław in co-edition with Impart 2016 Festival Office, Wrocław, 2016.