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Who killed the opera house? Sir Norman….

Downtown Warsaw is boom town. They are building a new metro line and much else. Work goes on day and night. If you’re not careful, you can easily wander down a side street that ends in a huge drop.

That’s the upside. The downside is the Norman Foster building that, since my last visit, has blotted out the main town view of the splendid opera house.

I can’t, for some reason, download pics from my phone but the reality is a lot less flattering than the official Foster pic (below), which shows a bit of the opera peeking out from behind his exceedingly dull office block.

I’ve walked around and tried my best to see the opera across Pilsudski Square from the Victoria, now Sofitel, hotel. Crane my neck from the hotel and I can just about glimpse a corner of the theatre. The Foster block consigns the Warsaw opera house to oblivion. And the new building is so, so ordinary.

foster warsaw

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  1. Well, maybe they could build a giant nuclear plant, or better yet (non-bituminous) coal burning plant, in the parking lot in front of the Foster building and blot them both out. And as an extra treat, the construction noise could blot out the music. Norman F is on the cutting edge of 21st century architecture. So much for urban planning in Warsaw (oops, no ethnic jokes, British or ………..).

  2. R. James Tobin says:

    Sorry about the opera house but there is nothing wrong architecturally with the big glass building that is neither dull nor ordinary.

  3. Peter Freeman says:

    This is roughly the same as how our beeb just effaced for ever the famous and magnificent view north from Oxford Circus of the silhouette against the sky of All Souls, Langham Place. Anyone who heard the boring and contrived piece of wallpaper sound effects masquerading as music at last night’s Prom can appreciate how immune to any notion of beauty that organisation’s power wielders are. Architecture as an art form died in 1929. All since then has been glorified engineering. Everything is done for economy and therefore speed, and one can only surmise that planning authorities’ palms are lined in the process. The Foster monstrosity is hideous.

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