geeking out

geeking out: paper replicas of warsaw buildings

April 18, 2014

While catching up on one of my favourite design blogs, Freshome, I spotted these amazing little paper replicas of buildings from my birthplace of Warsaw, Poland.  They are created by graphic design firm Zupagrafika.  A bit of a departure from what I post here normally, but these feel very personal and their design is spot-on.

Check them out:

The details are perfect:  the tiny satellite dishes attached to the building exteriors and the graffiti on top of smog-darkened concrete.

For me, they evoke many not-so-distant memories of walking through these often not-so-pretty parts of Warsaw.  This city has seen a lot.  For those not familiar:  in World War II, Warsaw, including its very charming Old Town, was completely reduced to rubble.  The Old Town was rebuilt and new housing developments sprung up in the 1950s and 1960s.  One of those is ‘Za Żelazną Bramą’, which translates to ‘Behind the Iron Gate’.  Its style is influenced by Le Corbusier’s brand of brutalist modernism.  Which means LOTS of concrete.

Indeed many Varsovians consider these buildings to be a blight.  They may not be pretty, but they have their own stories to tell.  The PKO Rotunda building was the site of a natural gas explosion in the 1970s which is remembered by many in the city.  Kieślowski’s ‘Dekalog’ was set in and revolves around the lives of an array of characters residing in one of the housing complexes.  Now I’m feeling nostalgic.  Strange yet familiar times.  I love that Zupagraphika has decided to take these iconic buildings and honour them in some way.

You can purchase these paper cutouts through Zupagrafika.  And (bonus!) I’ll soon be in Poland hunting for these in Warsaw:  cutouts and buildings alike.

(This is in no way a sponsored post.)

Images via Freshome and Zupagrafika

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