CRACOW (PL) - In 2000 Cracow was one of nine European Capitals of Culture. Film director Andrzej Wajda and architect Krzysztof Ingarden proposed an info and expo pavilion as one of the projects for the event. Owing to financial and heritage protection issues, the pavilion opened seven years later than originally planned. The Wyspiański 2000 Pavilion occupies what may be the most prestigious free plot in 21st-century Poland: in the middle of the country's most precious urban ensemble, between the Main Market Square and the castle.
The basic idea was to create a place for the stained glass windows designed for Cracow Cathedral by the artist Stanisław Wyspiański in the 19th century but never executed. The shape of the pavilion was inspired by one of Wyspiański's stage designs. The most exposed part of the pavilion has rounded ends and a glass wall that is covered on the outside by a curtain of specially designed ceramic 'beads' threaded on stainless steel wires. The fin-like ceramic 'beads' are able to move like sun shades, creating a play of light and shadows. The architect designed the elements, but because of their size it took quite a long time to find someone to manufacture them. Finally, the Ceramsus brickyard in Lower Silesia, which uses a traditional oven and specializes in supplying materials for reconstructions and renovations, undertook the task. Also contributing to the character of the facade are the different colours of the elements and the small chestnut leaf motifs inspired by details by Wyspiański. (Hubert Trammer)