Implant is a temporary leisure/shopping/culture complex to be built with construction site containers. It will be located on the verge of Śródmieście (Downtown) and Wola districts in Warsaw, Poland.
The plot is an empty space adjacent to two once important streets: Żelazna street that constituted the backbone of pre-war Jewish district and Chmielna street. WW2 has left this zone in bad shape, both when it comes to space (half or completely ruined pre-war tenement houses) and social tissue (original inhabitants killed or dispalaced, rural population moved in as replacement to work in heavy industry built in the 1950-ties). Since liberalization in 1989 Wola has become an attractive space for developments, especially large office buildings with permitted height up to 200 meters.
At the same time many lots and buildings that were nationalized with so-called Bierut decret in 1950-ties remain vacant because of ongoing reclamation procedures. This situation has created a characteristic landscape of new tall office buildings emerging from ruins inhabited by empoverished working class, lumpenproletariat and artists. Wola offers a proximity to city’s center mixed with low rents and the presence of culture clubs and bars (cult bar Chłodna 25 among others) and artistic interventions commemorating district’s Jewish past, such as an art installation recalling the infamous ghetto footbridge depicted in Steven Spilberg’s „The pianist” and Keret House nicknamed „the narrowest house in the world”. Żelazna street is regaining it’s importance with new large-scale projects taking place along it, including the refurbishment of Norblin factory (the oldest XVIII century factory in Warsaw) that will contain high level apartments, offices and the biggest organic food market in the city.
The contemporary social mix creates a lot of friction and diversity of functions reflecting the needs of the users and inhabitants of the zone. Generic coffee parlors servicing office workers coexist with culture clubs, while small chain groceries and foodstores stand door-to-door with farmer markets, hardware stores and cabinetry, carpentry and upholstery workshops. Many of the remaining pre-war buildings were turned into communal housing inhabited today by the elderly, students and unemplyed third generation of derooted ex-countryside workers. Pockets of new restaurants emerge on streets perpendicular to Żelazna, especially Elektoralna, where tourists from Israel and other countries appear in search of the remnants of Jewish ghetto. Many buildings are post-war prefabricated coops built for various professional / union groups who’s original owners still remain in these appartments.
Chmielna 75 plot was once a densely built location out of which nothing is left, except for a derelic wall and betula trees planted after the war. IMPLANT is in fact a way to prototype the space and functions for the future, where according to the authors of the project, an open green courtyard should create a lively contrast to dense urban tissue of Wola, since the most proximate parks are at least three kilometers away). The courtyard will be surrounded with three urban „walls” reconstructing the perimeter of the lot as it was before the war with a height of five stacked-up containers of approximately 14,5 meters. These „walls” are divided into smaller sections providing gated access spaces to the interior of the lot and introducing cortyard’s semi-natural character with ivy planting („green tunnels”). The lot is accessible by car to a parking lot running along it’s southern and western border. The southern end of the lot touches the mouth of a railway tunnel leading to Central and Western stations (European grade east-west line linking Berlin and Moscow).