press article
932_COVER HOME 928 streams p6


about article

Working out of a family attic, Małgorzata Kuciewicz, Krzysztof Banaszewski and Jakub Szczęsny first started working together at a student festival in the mid'90s. As Centrala, a designers' task force, their first joint competition wasn't until 2001, when they won second place for a project to redesign a public square in Warsaw. Since then their work has crossed into art, architecture, urban planning and furniture design.
Although headed by three principal Warsaw-based architects, Centrala's numbers swell as the need arises. When that happens, Kuciewicz, Banaszewski and Szczęsny have a multidisciplinary network of professionals to call on to assist them.
Graduating from Warsaw Technical University (WAPW), Szczesny's past is also in visual communication and illustration, working for the Polish edition of Playboy, lifestyle magazines and ad agencies. Also graduates of WAPW, Kuciewicz and Banaszewski bring other skills to the table. Kuciewicz is an "excellent composer when it comes to landscape", says Szczęsny, "and when it comes to small-scale objects, like furniture or hedonistic gadgets. Krzyś is a great analytician and strategist, able to design and plan structural objects or engineering processes". At the beginning, what brought the three together was a common interest in taking a "critical approach", says Szczęsny, "towards both the reality left by murky years of communism and mindless reproduction of commercial practices in architecture who dominated new Polish reality with their massive production". While entering competitions, Kuciewicz, Banaszewski and Szczęsny also wanted to stir up public debate on the city's disappearing architectural heritage. Between 2002 and 2006, their four "decoy projects" in the press sparked discussion about how to save buildings, particularly modernist works, from the developers. Centrala's four provocative proposals outlined ways to reuse buildings around the city. The aim was to show how saving the works would provide "cultural enrichment", according to Szczęsny, "through maintenance of a multilayered historical structure". Ideas included turning a petrol station into an architecture and urban-design gallery and a glass pavilion into a tourist information centre. The buildings were demolished nonetheless. The group's built work ranges from a rapidly redesigned apartment interior to the conversion of a train station ticket office into a cultural centre. And while teaming up with Polish firm Bulanda & Mucha Architects, they designed a curvy blue tent-like temporary pavilion for the future Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Seeking to bring constructive change to Poland, Centrala has spent nearly a decade focusing on "colour, sensual experience and broader reflection", explains Szczęsny. "This is how we landed on the edge of architecture, design, urban design and art." by Robert Such

publication date


our work by type
by project advancement
by period
barbara_kaja_kaniewska HANSEN_zaproszenie_PL2 DSC_5227_POLIN_day2 Jacek_Damiecki_MAKROFORMY 13692862_10154143982251201_3020648882022209214_o fot._Michal_Matejko CENTRALA_Ajnr_2m rozwarstwianiesocmodernizmu_212782 TG2016_2 tumblr_o7twb270Jh1ufnwhyo5_1280 12513924_10207178212108566_5717199827902586919_o outdoor_ring_blanket De_Iacobis_Simone_09 1_probki HAN_SER_11mini LtC_2Wirkus night_out PZYZBA_13 render_z_gory_poprawiony_SM SDI_0598 michal jonca _BGF2543_AIR2 filizanka DSC_1005 DSC_0869 copy 11 Zamecznik_CENTRALA_01m rakowiec17 1606461_786350814724860_444746819_o skwer_w_pawilonie_strefa_parkour_1200px IMG_0361 DSC_0794mini 1378676_166040136925676_648037791_n Studio_b Illus_1 piern2 OHEL_front view_3 RM net 2 smile koncept zolty2 skwer2 7mini DSC_0726 copy 9 DSC_0404 NUKII_1 8 info2 keret_warsztaty_ksia_z_ka_test51 plakatroma czysta logo Sil_07 STAD render podstawowy 600 HOO 02schematy_przekro WROC render3 kro ele MHP impresja net4 036_3 007_3 vis2 009_2 TEST_zaproszenie2 024_1 cover makieta021 ele ikonka 030_1 centrala7x 035_1 015_3 polin3 mis_makieta 002_3 06_wz 031_6 001_1