19/12/2018
Touches of Renaissance: Studying Renaissance Architecture in its Authentic Place


EACH WORKSHOP IS MADE UP BY 3 DIFFERENT PHASES:

1) BEFORE the workshop: each group of university students from a different country must prepare a preliminary work, to be presented in Florence.

2) DURING the workshop there will be formed different international mixed groups of students; each international group will present a final work at the end of the week.

3) AFTER the workshop: once coming back home, each national group of university students will prepare a final version of the project.


Project phase: BEFORE


PROJECT LEADER:
Prof. Bohumil Fanta, Professor at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Architecture, Czech Republic

PROJECT LEADER E-MAIL:
fantaboh@fa.cvut.cz






Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture

PARTECIPANTS:
Prof. Robert M. Kunkel, Urszula Koziarska, Mateusz Potempski, Maja Wieczorek, Leszek Włochyński


BEFORE THE WORKSHOP



RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE IN POLAND 1500 - 1550

Architecture in Poland between 1500-1550 depended strongly on the territory. In south and south-west part of the country (Małopolska, Wielkopolska), the architecture was more inetensive and its expansion more significant. Stone and brick were used not only to erect residences, castles and churches, but also tenement-houses and public buildings. In the first half of 16th century this development was extended towards east, to Mazowsze. Discussed period was the turn from the Middle Ages into Renaissance epoch in Poland.

In that time the architectural objects were being built in two different ways. From one side, churches were often built like in the 15th century, which measn in the Late-Gothic style. What was characteristic about these churches, it was their open structure and stone detail. The second way of design was the new style – Renaissance. 16th century Poland is still the scene of mixed architectural styles. Renaissance buildings make their appearance side by side with purely Gothic objects. Occasionally, Gothic buildings are enriched with new elements or additions, obviously belonging to the new syle (for example the attics of the the Church in Paczków).

The first Renaissance work of architecture was the conversion of the Gothic Wawel Royal Castle into a Renaissance residence with a vast inner court surrounded by three levels of arcades. The work was started in 1505 by two Italian architects – Francis the Italian and Bartholomew Berrecci. They departed from the strict principles of the Italian Renaissance. This can be seen in the design of the upper level of arcades, where the slender columns are decorated with the Gothic ornamentation, as well as in the details of window and doorway framing. The Polish Renaissance produced mainly secular objects such as castles and municipal buildings, which in many cases were convered from old Gothic residences. Gothic castles took on a new appearance not only through the addition of lavishly designed gates and inner courts surrounded by arcades, but also the Renaissance doorways and ceilings (Brzeg, Pieskowa Skała). Beside these, the Renaissance produced a kind of castle of a more compact external grouping, without the inner court. This was the case with castles conceived as an enlarged dwelling tower (Piotrków) or as a detached house (Szymbark, Pabianice). While on the Wawel Royal Castle the Renaissance was only the way of giving the new appearance and ambience, the Memorial of the King Jan Olbracht in the Wawel Cathedral (the Sigismund Chapel) was designed from the very beginnig and erected in Renaissance style. It has been hailed by many art historians as "the most beautiful example of the Tuscan Renaissance north of the Alps". This chapel, financed by King Sigismund I the Old, was built in 1510-33 by Bartholomew Berrecci. For the first time in Poland the harmony and balance between interior and exterior were achieved. Walls are divided harmonically thanks to the use of the antic orders and their excellent proportions. What is the most important, the chapel is a three-dimensional composition of simple, geometric solids (cube, cylinders, half-sphere of cupola). The Sigismund Chapel was erected on the plan of a square – a traditional form of a mausoleum. Its shape was believed by humasits as the most perfect one, full of philosophic and religious meanings. Square is a symbol of strong connection and communication between the Universe, the Creator and the Nature. Walls closing the lower part are designed in the form of antic triumph archs. The entrance is situated in one of them. The remaining recesses are covering the the altar and the tomb of Sigismund I. This composition underlines the high importance of the spaces situated under the archs (antic symbolism of the triumph arch). In the top of the chapel there is the space of symbols referring to immortality. Above the tambour with circular windows is a cupola with caissons with rossets. The interior decorations provide a contrast to the architecturally strict divisions of elevations. The character of exterior of the chapel is similar to the one of the details of Wawel Royal Castle arcades. Another sacral Renaissance object was the Cathedral in Płock. It was built in 1530-35 by arch. Bernardino Gianotti.

What makes the architecture of the Polish Renaissance so characteristic are its attics. They are changing the character and proportion of the buildings. Even in the 15th century the appearance of the attics was noticed and then it became a general feature. Nevertheless, in 16th century Renaissance the way of designing them was changed. About the year 1550 artists started to create more decorative ornamentation. Simple attics were replaced by lombard volutes, obelisks, pinnacles etc. A wall below attics was converted into frieze divided by pilasters or arcades. Attics have survived on a relatively small number of buildings. One of the first and the greatest was finialof rebuilding Sukiennice in Cracow (1556). Sukiennice was a municipal building and from that time attic became more common in cities. Their popularity in cities was probably due to the fact that the lowered roof was a safeguard against the spread of fires.

In the middle of 16th century Italian influence developed in brick and plaster technics. This so called “brick Renaissance” developed on local tradition of brick architecture of Mazowsze. It was the beginning of coming into existence a very interesting group of Renaissance churches, which were erected in the next years.

INFLUENCES OF THE FLORENTINE ARCHITECTURE IN THE 19th CENTURY IN POLAND

19th century in Polish architecture was a time of historicism and eclecticism. It was also a time of interest and development of the history of architecture. The knowledge of old principles of design such as proportions, forms, or details was necessary in order to use them in a correct context. Buildings were designed as a combination of elements from different historical styles. Creators were looking for a new expression in architectural work. The use of the specific style (of the historical ones) often depended on function of building or was due to the political decision.

New style in Polish architecture in 19th century was being created and developed for a long time. The beginnings can be found on buildings erected under the patronage of prominent cultural and political doer - Stanisław Zamoyski. One of his first investments was the rebuilding of Błękitny Palace in Warsaw. The project was done in 1812 by Fryderyk Lessel. In this work one can notice that the extreme purism was broken by the reminiscence of neorenaissance. In Warsaw there are some objects in which the influences of the Renaissance are distinct. This style was usually used in monumental, representative public buildings, underlining their rank and significance. There are for example, erected in 1857 by Henric Marconi, The European Hotel, or the edifice of "Towarzystwo Kredytowe Ziemskie" (polish credit society) which is a copy of the Venetian Procuratie. In case of the foundations where the representative function was of bigger importance, the plan was more regular and symmetric.

This style was also used in representative tenement-houses. One of the great examples is a house on 17 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street in Warsaw. This building was designed by Franciszek Maria Lanci in 1847. It was a typical tenement-house in evolution of 19th century. The plan is symmetric, with central gate. The basic role in shaping the structure of the elevation was played by iron. On the ground floor there are flat arcades with massive pillars. On higher floors pillars are replaced by pairs of iron columns. The soft divisions on elevation and a tender windows framing are free paraphrases of the Renaissance forms.

The influences of the Renaissance was usually visible in facades and decorations, but not in philosophy of the design. Neorenaissance detail was often used in architecture created in totally different styles and for many different purposes. Which means that specific elements of the Renaissance detail were used quite freely as ornamentation, without their original context and the rules of use. The example is The Royal Castle in Lublin (1823-26), where monumental, cubic blocks, monotonic divisions and infinity long facades are ended with high attic. Also a new "arcade style" (initiated by Durand in France) was often referring to the Renaissance Italian palaces. In Poland this style was used by Jan Jakub Gay and Antonio Corazzi. The "Arcade style" can be seen in the Polish Bank in Warsaw, a monumental granary in Modlin (1844) or in the house of Towarzystwo Dobroczynności (1844) on Bednarska Street in Warsaw. The elevation of Towarzystwo Dobroczynności is full of creative, individual variations of facade in early Florence palaces.

As we can see, there are many examples of influences of the Florentine architecture in Poland. What seems to be interesting is the fact that they played an important role not only in the Renaissance as such, but also in other epochs, many years later.



Images of the WORK
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Czech Technical University Prague, Faculty of Architecture
Prof. Bohumil Fanta, Doc. Eva Fantová, Klára Brůhová, Anna Beránková, Jakub Vysoký, Michal Bednář
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Slovak Technical University, Faculty of Architecture
Ing. arch. Nadežda Hrašková, PhD., Michaela Kesanová, Adriana Slabejová, Jozef Veselovský, Radovan Zelik
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Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture
Prof. Robert M. Kunkel, Urszula Koziarska, Mateusz Potempski, Maja Wieczorek, Leszek Włochyński
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Odessa State Academy of Civil Engineering and Arrchitecture. Prof. Nadiya Yeksaryova. Student: Dmytro Mironov, Kseniya Gerasymova, Olga Polonska, Oleksandra Tymofyeyeva,.
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