Concept store, Warsaw
Three houses in a box
WARSAW (PL) - Marcin Kwietowicz has his own architectural practice, but most of his projects have been created together with other architects and/or artists. In fact, he mostly works in tandems, with different partners for different projects. Most of these projects represent a wide range of small-scale pieces, such as a house for an artist, the architectural layout for the artists' intervention in the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the entrance hall of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, and quite a few exclusive shops. The Fiu Fiu is one of these last. The name is both an onomatopoeical reflection of a bird's voice and an informal expression of delight. The shop has been designed in collaboration with Mateusz Adamczyk from the BudCud architectural group. In 2008, BudCud won Europan 9 for a project in Warsaw, and was mentioned in Europan 11 for a project in Leeuwarden (NL) in 2012.
Both BudCud and Marcin Kwietowicz create conceptual architecture and enjoy keeping a distance from, or playing with, the clichés followed by the majority of ambitious architects. In the case of the Fiu Fiu shop, the theme being played with is the idea of the box in a box, as well as the archetypical house and roof without eaves and covered with the same material as the walls. The shop occupies part of the ground floor of a seven-storey apartment building erected in the years 1937-1938 in the city centre of Warsaw by architect Lucjan Korngold.
The apartment building at Koszykowa street in Warsaw fits the traditional urban layout of the city, but its architecture of belt windows and richly glazed shops in the ground floor follows the modernistic forms. The facades covered with sandstone have a strictly rectangular composition. Kwietowicz and Adamczyk have placed within the shop a structure which consists of three nearly identical modules which look like pitched-roof houses, each offset from the others. Not only is this a way to create spatial effects, it also separates the various functional spaces of dressing room, cash desk and storage, all of which are located between the inserted structure and the existing walls, which have been laminated in white. Lamps installed at the back side of the inserted structure give light that reflects from the white walls and ceiling, making the structure seem more bright and spacious. The structure itself is finished with plywood – partially painted white and partially left as natural wood. At the points where the modules meet, the offset surfaces are covered with red-painted sheets of steel. The outer surfaces of the modules show the wooden skeleton of their construction. These characteristics reflect the connection the architects have made between the shop's design and Scandinavia, where the brand of clothes and shoes sold in the shop originates.
In May 2012, the Fiu Fiu shop was shortlisted in the category 'Shop, Presentation' of the Global Award for the very best interiors and architecture, given by the German architectural magazine AIT (Architektur Innenarchitektur Technischer Ausbau).
Monday | 18 June | 2012 | Poland | Hubert Trammer