The very complete Patchwork show of the architecture of Polish woman Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak ended last week. In the early seventies my husband joined a posse of American planners and architects who went to Poland on Marshall Plan money to help revitalize the country. They found a bleak environment and harsh post war conditions. Grabowska-Hawrylak was associated with Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) as a student and as a prime mover of the reconstruction of the city along with a similar, domestic cell of architects and planners. At the Center for Architecture, a panorama of her built and unbuilt works told a tale of public housing, education, cinema, conservation, capitalism and socialism and a country left in ruins. Social Realism gave way to urgent needs of housing the population irrespective of theory. Prefabs were required. Residents jokingly called their housing estates The Principality of Monaco or Manhattan. A model of her Grunwaldzki Square project had been built out of Styrofoam and it was magnificent.
Photo: ,Courtesy The Center for Architecture, by Chris Niedentha