Warsaw’s Architectural Community During the 1939–1944 German Occupation





The Warsaw architectural community was the largest such group within the territory of the Second Polish Republic, a fact influenced by Warsaw’s role of as the capital, the number of investments undertaken during the interwar period when the capital was being rebuilt, and the presence of Warsaw Polytechnic Institute to educate new academic staff. During the occupation, this large community did not cease its professional activity. The article reviews professional activities undertaken by architects between 1939 and 1944 — i.e., from the outbreak of the Second World War until the Warsaw Uprising. This subject has not been dealt with comprehensively until now. The author looks at both institutionalized works, prepared under the auspices of the City Board as part of the clandestine activities of the Architecture Department at the Warsaw University of Technology, as well as individual architectural projects. From the perspective of the history of Warsaw’s urban design, the work of the City Board’s Commission of Urban Studies Experts and the Architecture and Urban Planning Workshop (Pracownia Architektoniczno-Urbanista), which officially operated as part of the Social Building Enterprise and employed nearly eighty people at its peak, was of the greatest significance. Looking at the intensity of occupation work in Warsaw allows us to take a broader look at the history of the capital’s architecture and complement it with the period from 1939 to 1944, thus preserving the continuity of the narrative about twentieth-century design.

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