The results will be announced on the 27th October at 18.00 , Museum of Architecture in Wrocław.

The Honorary Award of SARP Wrocław Branch is a prestigious distinction awarded to renowned architects – members of the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects, initiated on the model of the SARP Honorary Award in 2011, during the 1st edition of the Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture DoFA. The award is granted annually by the Jury composed of winners of the SARP Honorary Award, subsequent laureates of the Award of SARP Wrocław Branch, the President of the Wrocław Branch and the iniciator of the Award.

Jury of the Honorary Award of SARP Wrocław Branch, 2017

arch. Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak
arch. Maciej Hawrylak
arch. Wojciech Jarząbek
arch. Daria Kieżun
arch. Zbigniew Maćków
arch. Stefan Müller
arch. Mariusz Szlachcic
arch. Jerzy Tarnawski

decided to reward

                                                arch. JULIAN ŁOWIŃSKI

Julian Łowiński (b. 1935) is an architect and urban planner from Wrocław, laureate of the 2017 Honorary Award of the Wrocław Branch of the Association of Polish Architects.

He is a person of exceptional character and sensitivity. He is one of the architects responsible for the Wrocław-South district, which he co-designed shortly after graduation as a result of winning a competition in 1961. He participated in numerous concept designs and competitions for new districts and residential complexes. He worked at Miastoprojekt Wrocław and in Libya, and since 1992 he has been running his own company.

His main area of focus has been the Wrocław-South district, where he co-designed the four housing estates: Anna, Barbara, Celina and Dorota. Later he designed many other objects there, including three residential-commercial buildings in Powstańców Śląskich St, with the most recognisable situated at no. 112–120. They have endowed the street with a special character.

In 1985 he began cooperation with the company Viessmann, for which he has designed all the objects in Poland.

He has received many prizes and awards for his designs, both those implemented and theoretical.

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The age of the first builders of Wrocław is coming to an end. This is a fact and the Award Committee’s sad observation.

As it is the case each year, the Award Committee of SARP Wrocław Honorary Award faced a dilemma: the old or the young? This issue is not just connected with intergenerational competition, but primarily with the mark left by individual architects on the ultimate urban spatial structure. Making natural references to Breslau – a rich Hanseatic city inspired by centuries-long tradition of German urbanism, based on the accomplishments of outstanding architects from other urban centres, especially Berlin – is irreversibly a thing of the past.

Today we approach this magnificent body of work – the oeuvre of our fellow architects who produced many world-renowned objects – with awe and respect. In spite of difficult times, they managed to carry out initiatives that promoted urban planning, architecture or new standards of living, including the most recognisable among them – the WuWA housing estate. Now we could only wonder whether our work will be similarly appreciated by the generations to come.

After all, the significance of architecture does not depend on nationality, the political system, the economic development of a city or region – as exemplified by presenting the 2016 Pritzker Prize to Alejandro Aravena – but on the talent of an individual architect and their ability to use the extant reality to create objects standing out against a given neighbourhood, city, country or region.

The present time offers virtually limitless scope for construction. In Greek tragedy there existed three unities – of action, time and place. Architecture is governed by the principle of conformity of the creative architect’s beliefs with the understanding investor and a budget that is sufficient to carry out the planned investment project, including all the relevant standards; sometimes the municipal authority’s permit is also required. Details such as cohesion with urban fabric, the surroundings or the cityscape, are less important. Numerous examples could be provided, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York, or Rudolf Petersdorff Department Store (today known as the Kameleon) designed by Erich Mendelssohn in Wrocław. These objects redefined standards. Built ahead of their time, despite keeping the scale and character of the space, they became “alienated.” This is why the permission of the municipal authorities is still needed today.

In the old Wrocław there were many architects whose oeuvre is appreciated only now, because it did not win the respect of their contemporaries. It is equally true of other fields of art, such as literature or film. So our task today is to single out and honour artists with an unusual record of accomplishments. Wrocław boasts many architects who produced recognisable or unique structures, which could become symbols of the new city, maybe even country – and in the future, of the entire region or Europe. They did so without the need to refer to the tradition of Breslau or to compete with the output of the new, post-war Wrocław. However, they did need to take into account a more universal output and scale – of Europe. Like the coveted Mies van Der Rohe Award, the local award should also be appreciated because it describes ourselves, our own backyard. “Less is more,” if we are to look up to Mies. Because it is more honest.

Last year – the year of celebrating European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 – was special, and the Award Committee decided not to reward active practitioners, and instead present the Honorary Award to Krystyna and Marian Barski. This year we were also considering the possibility of changing the formula of the award in order to honour architects who influenced the urban structure by designing objects or urban complexes that have become part and parcel of Wrocław, endowing the city with new meaning and new quality. Eventually we have decided to take these suggestions into account when revising the rules of awarding the distinction in the future.

Having examined the output of many architects, it was decided that the architect who meets all the criteria for receiving the 2017 Honorary Award of SARP Wrocław is Julian Łowiński.

He is an architect and urban planner, representing the second generation of Wrocław architects (graduated in 1961). A typical citizen of Wrocław, which means a repatriate from the east. Born too late to be involved in the very first projects after the war, but early enough to participate in the construction of the most important element of the “Piast” Wrocław – the Wrocław-South district. If the award of the Honorary Builder of Wrocław was still given, his pioneering work and contribution to the development of the city would certainly deserve it.

Maciej Hawrylak, PhD, Eng. of Architecture

DoFA Chairman

Member of the Executive Board of the Polish Association of Architects

Member of the Award Committee of the Honorary Award of SARP Wrocław