POLAND - The work of the Silesian office founded by Przemo Łukasik and Łukasz Zagała is simple, honest and down-to-earth.
The medusagroup's name contains a homophone of the Polish word meduza, meaning jellyfish. The official logo of the Upper Silesian firm is topped with a version of a trademark featuring this very soft and ethereal creature. Although this might suggest a rather organic architecture, their work is just the opposite. Rational and orthogonal, it is exemplary of what is commonly known among Polish architects as the 'Silesian school of architecture' (see the Upper Silesia tour guide in A10 #32).
Przemo Łukasik and Łukasz Zagała founded medusagroup in the first half of the 1990s, when they were still students at the Gliwice Faculty of Architecture. With a background of French academic exchanges and time spent in the ateliers of Jean Nouvel and Odile Decq, they returned home in the mid-1990s to a region that was struggling with the serious economic consequences of political transformation. In the wake of the closure of the mining industry, Upper Silesia was trying to find its way, both socially and spatially, in the unfamiliar reality of the new system. The threat of unemployment and the question of what to do with the growing industrial wastelands quickly became the major issues confronting the four million-strong region.
Nevertheless, Łukasik and Zagała opted to return to Upper Silesia. And they not only returned, but also started to perceive great potential in the region, seeing in its grimy and boxy brick architecture a real value waiting to be discovered and reused in the future. Its down-to-earth industrial honesty became an architectural inspiration.