When we were little, we would play in the counrtyard in front of our building. Now, we’re bigger and the scale of our courtyard is too. Let’s head out to Plac Defilad, affectionately known as our little courtyard.
Varsovians have only recently begun to speak of it warmly – it’s always been considered as something ugly and massive. It’s ‘tribunal of honor’ saw military parades and marches under Soviet rule, in the 90s it was home to a chaotic bazaar and, even today, it serves largely as a parking lot for suburban bus companies.
We have always bee-lined straight to the Palace of Culture and Science itself (built in 1955 as a present to the Poles from the USSR), home to a cinema, theater, swimming pool viewing terraces, the Youth Palace (the largest cultural home in the city center), the now-declining Museum of Technology and the vast Sala Kongresowa concert hall.
Now, we actually sit on the square in front, thanks to the Plac Defilad project, initiated by Studio Theater and barStudio bringing together clubs and institutions (including Cafe Kulturalna, Dramatyczny Theater and Kinoteka Cinema).
There is a giant table on the square in front of the Palace’s main entrance where anyone can have a seat. There are film screenings and concerts. The friendly design and user-friendly arrangement of this bit of public space has sparked discussion as to how this giant square in fronf of the Palace of Culture should look. In a few years, the Modern Art Museum and TR Warszawa Theater will be built here. And there’s still a chance that Plac Defilad will become, in the meantime, an urban oasis full of life.
Palace of Culture and Science, Plac Defilad 1, www.pkin.pl