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According to its founders, the Wyspa Institute of Art is a live organism, being in constant motion and responding to the dynamism of its widely understood sorroundings and cultural phenomena generated there. It should operate in a way – both in terms of its ideology and practive – which will foster constantly new forms of artistic activity. The institute is an exceptional fenomenon, because it will be the first Polish, non-public institution of an international profile, dealing with the issues of the contemporary artistic culture. Therefore the functional-spatial programme of its premises should suite this type of activity: be relatively simple, easily modiefied (even during the investment stage), mobile and ready for use already at the initial stage of the investment; moreover, it should be always prepared for progress, understood and subsequent changes. The first moments when building of the institute begins will be the first step to the real revitalisation of the former Shipyard area in Gdańsk.


Sustaining links with the avant-garde of the early 20th century became  the platform for understanding between the designers and the investor, as well as the key for the targeted architectural form. This form refers to the architectural tradition of the beginning of that century and which had no chance to appear in this place then.

Heritage encountered

Valuable characteristic elements to be retained in the project of the development ot the institute:

  • construction – divisions and rythm of windows;
  • stair-well;
  • rooms whose proportions are perfect for their planned function;
  • industrial constructions outside;

Skin / Wrapping

place: aneglected area taken care of

environment outside: shipyard landscape – concrete, grated constructions, colors, texture

progress / superstructure: these two symbiotically co-exist with current values, thanks to their own supporting construction so they do not transmit their burden onto the existing elements; simultaneously their shape forms an external layer – a “wrapping” for the entire object.


A strong point of Young City definitely is its location in the vicinity of Gdańsk downtown. However it should be pinpointed that the socially degraded area of the Old Town is also close to it, e.g. the district of Osiek. The activity of the Art Institute can play a crucial role in the activation and social renovation of these city quarters.


Means the re-use of the existing renovated old equipment which can be found all over the Young City area (e.g. lamps), as well as whole architectural elements (e.g. steel load-bearing constructions, stair-wells).

Project: 2004;

Status: concept;

Usable floor area: approx. 5 200m2;

Location: Young City, Gdańsk, Poland;

Designed by: Andrzej Niegrzybowski, Robert Brodziński.