Niepołomice Town Square

  • location: Niepołomice
  • outside sightseeing: yes
  • inside sightseeing: no
  • outside photographing: yes
  • interior photographing: no
  • authors: Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak
  • authors' website: http://www.lewicki-latak.com.pl
  • construction: 2010
  • authors of photos: Tomasz Zakrzewski © Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak

Niepołomice is a small town in the vicinity of Kraków, famous for its renaissance castle – sometimes dubbed “the second Wawel,” albeit with some exaggeration – and for the magnificent recreational areas of the Niepołomice Forest. At the heart of the town is the square, with small-town architecture built around it. The architects’ task was to turn the plaza into residents-friendly space, both aesthetic and functional, a stage of daily local rituals and special events.

Despite designing constraints resulting from the obligation to retain the surviving historical elements, the architects managed to create a harmonious space. Their starting point was the selection of paving stone, namely 10 x 10 cm porphyry bricks. The stone is a module, found also in streetlights, bollards, and benches. Corresponding with the hue of the paving is the rusty tint of the elements in the street furniture, made of weathering Corten steel. Oakwood is the third material used, in the seats and backrests of the benches. The elements of street furniture introduce harmonious aesthetics to the various functional zones of the plaza: the central square (serving as a parking lot or a meeting place), the northern frontage (walking path with an alley of trees) and the western frontage (café-gardens). They also guarantee uniqueness – as they were designed specifically for Niepołomice.