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Atlas of allotment architecture

Allotments are our next phenomenon. They are getting more and more popular all over the world but in Warsaw one can find them in the very centre of the city.

Europe has gone crazy about community gardens thanks to which already forgotten parts of the city are revived and local communities integrated. Young people take over allotments very eagerly. We can observe a significant generation change right now. Some time ago allotments were popular among elderly people on retirement. Today, young people also try to find balance from everyday bustle weeding a garden.

It is also due to an increase in consumer awareness as regards healthy food. We are more aware of what we eat, we resign from meat in favour of vegetables and nothing tastes better than your own tomato or zucchini. In the United States, Australia, Europe young people take over their parents’ or grandparents’ farms and switch to ecological food. Thanks to social media this trend is on the rise.

We recommend you to see how it is done in Warsaw. You don’t have to leave town. All you have to do is instead of going to a park, try visiting allotments located in the city centre. They are such fascinating places. Every allotment is different because tastes and ways of spending free time can vary. However, almost all of them are full of flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and also represent specific allotment design kept in the DIY spirit. Here one can notice the richness of changes of seasons. Allotments are beautiful throughout the year.

Wojciech Mazan, an architect and photographer, studies the phenomenon of this non-professional architecture. He posts on his Atlas Altan Instagram feed photos of allotment sheds from all over Poland. It is a part of a bigger project called „Simple Stories” by the Parerga group, which researches social and spatial aspects of allotments in Poland from the 19th to the 21st century. The project was awarded with the second prize in a competition for a curatorial proposal in the Polish National Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition- La Biennale di Venezia 2016 and was presented at the Biennale Urbana in Venice in 2016. Architects and sociologists from the Parergna group are currently working on a book on this topic.

For the time being we have an exhibition of Atlas Altan in Otwarta Pracownia in the estate of Finnish houses. We will see allotment architecture in a nutshell- 16 photographs presenting the most interesting types.

Opening day: 26th August, 6PM in a Finnish house of Otwarta Pracownia, Jazdów 3/6. Open till 3.09, h. 17-20. Free entry.

We recommend strolls through allotments near Waszyngtona Street (corner of Kinowa Str.) in Saska Kępa and in Żoliborz in Płomyka Street.

Photos: Wojciech Mazan/Atlas Altan; Agnieszka Kowalska

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