Landed in Pomorskie whilst looking for the origins of Polish design? This might not have been coincidental. When it comes to the most fashionable examples of applied arts this is the place to be.
The above statements are validated by Scandinavians travelling in numbers to Tricity in the quest for designer furniture. After all, Nordic nations are widely recognised as being in the vanguard of global design – be it in houses, glassware or casual ware. It appears though, that applied arts is likewise doing well across the Baltic Sea. In Poland this is due to the maverick approach adopted by our designers. Legacy of communism in arts and design? Instead of a total rejection they skilfully adopted and expanded on the valuable tenets thereof. Likewise with traditional folk art that has been employed in modern projects. These, and other, skills and creativity of Polish designers have resulted in global markets taking an ever closer look at local design in this country. There is indeed plenty of prime examples to behold of – modern architecture, skilful combining of construction projects with the larger urban landscape, a multitude of workshops and concept stores. These are largely responsible for projects swiftly making it from the drawing board into the physical realm. All this increasingly draws attention of foreign visitors to all things designed in Poland, building thereby the global trademark and reputation of Polish design.
Hotel, museum, chair
Thanks to the efforts of designers and city planners, the urban space of Tricity is beginning to take shape – a visit to some of the recently established restaurants and hotels will positively verify this statement. Blending of Scandinavian and local styles, classy eclecticism, multitude of natural materials employed, primacy of light and, last but not least, tasteful decorative elements – just a few years ago all these could hardly had been applied to describe Polish architecture. Nowadays, establishments such as the Mera Spa Hotel or White House restaurant in Sopot as well as the Metamorfoza restaurant in Gdańsk base their claim to fame not just on their offer but also their stylish interiors. One does no longer have to cross the Baltic in order to find elegant appendages for one’s home – numerous Scandinavian companies see Poland as a fertile market for their produce. Suffice it to mention Danish BoConcept that has opened a store in Gdynia. The popular Sopot Let’s Art Café allows those impressed by its furniture to purchase a chair one was sitting on sipping coffee the moment before.
Diversity and variety have become the distinguishing marks of Tricity’s urban environment. Tricity area will therefore impress and raise the interest of even those with a moderate knowledge of design. Even a novice will be amazed by the structure of the PGE Arena stadium – considered to be one of the most visually stunning football stadiums built in recent years. The smart Neptun office complex in Wrzeszcz district of Gdańsk is rapidly nearing end of construction making thereby a strong design-informed statement on the old ‘dollar’ skyscraper of the same area. Gdańsk city centre is home to another project, the World War II Museum, that is already hailed by many as a tourist-attracting, public-space-defining landmark that will soon become the new symbolic epitome of the city.
Picture of Pomorze’s design would not be complete without mentioning some smaller, yet impactful projects. First thing that springs to mind is jewellery. Rightly so, since Baltic amber is the distinguishing feature of locally produced ornaments whilst local ambercraft is among the European best. Moreover, approach to amber has undergone major rethinking and now incorporates combining this Baltic jewel with other gemstones to produce a fresh and modern effect. This can be observed in the globally-acclaimed works by Mariusz Gliwiński from the Sopot Ambermoda Gallery. Interior decorators likewise leave their mark upon global markets – Alicja Stańska of Stanskadecor fulfils orders made by fashionable hotels from the UAE. Flourishing of design can be observed first-hand by visiting numerous events including Gdynia Design Days, Amber and Fashion Gala of the Amberif exposition and Sopot Fashion Days. These events have already developed an international appeal.