Zaczyn. O Zofii i Oskarze Hansenach

Filip Springer

11 €

The long-awaited title is back - a brilliant biographical reportage devoted to a pair of Polish visionary architects who had to create during the communist era. The fate of Oskar Hansen and his family could serve as the script for many a film. The son of a Norwegian and a Russian woman, he spent the war in Vilnius, where he joined the Polish partisans. After the war, he studies architecture and goes to Paris on a scholarship. There, he joins Jeanneret’s studio and visits great painters, including Picasso, to whom he gives some valuable advice. Despite being offered the opportunity to stay in the West, he returns to Poland, where he and his wife, Zofia, work as architects and develop the concept of the Open Form. The Hansens’ designs are bold, non-standard and tailored to the needs of ordinary people - who wouldn’t want a tailor-made flat? Unfortunately, in the grey reality of communist Poland, these ideas are subject to certain modifications, over which the architects no longer have any influence. The result is the notorious Warsaw housing estate of Przyczółek Grochowski, a place you do not choose, but are condemned to… This is where the author of the book, Filip Springer, decides to live. He wants to experience first-hand what it is like to live in a place where the Hansens’ theories became reality, and to understand why their innovative ideas did not work out so well in reality. Filip Springer’s book is a story about remarkable personalities, unusual human destinies, daring architecture, but also - and perhaps above all - about our mentality. And about how much we are missing today a vision of repairing the world which, like the Hansens’, would be based on faith in humanity and a sense of duty towards others. It is engaging, thought-provoking and simply wise.