urban parallels Zakopane -  urban transformation workshop at OSSA XX

49°17'22.0"N 19°57'00.7"E



OSSA - Polish Architecture Students Association - holds regular self-organised meetings from and for students from all Polish architecture faculties to broaden their skills, exchange experience and cooperate with leading architects, as well as artists, sociologists and activists from Poland and abroad. Workshops, attended by a small group of participants, react to a given subject, related to the current phenomena in the context of the host city. 



OSSA XX’s topic in Zakopane, a resort town in southern Poland, at the base of the Tatras Mountains, is RÓWNOREGLE - PARALLEL.

Zakopane is a town of peculiar meaning to and within Poland. Here so many things appear to exist as parallels, not just next to each other in time and space: an important cultural landscape, an inspiration for many Polish artists, a popular touristic destination of the high society and a hotspot for winter sports, still cultivating regional folklore, attracting crowds of visitors; traditional wooden houses stand next to large hotel complexes, artisanal manufacturers sell local goods next imported cheap plastic souvenirs. Natural beauty finds itself parallel to regional traditions and the escalating aesthetics of commercialization.

Based on the geometric understanding of parallels, which says that parallels can be pierced employing a straight line at the same angle, Studio UBK's workshop tried to demonstrate various parallel socio-cultural levels in Zakopane. What matters is not the manipulation or merging of these parallels, but the proof of their coexistence by creating a reciprocal acknowledgement. Based on an intensive analysis of parallel socio-cultural levels, after long, inspiring discussions in the group, some small artefacts were installed in the public space, which break through these levels at the same angle.