Architecture of the VII Day


Project Curators

Iza Cichońska, Karolina Popera, Kuba Snopek

Production
Bogna Świątkowska, Fundacja Bęc Zmiana

Venue
Casa de la Imagen

Dates
April 26th – May 8th

Times
April 26th – May 1st
from 12:00 to 14:00 and from 18:00 to 20:30

May 2nd – May 8th
from 18:00 to 20:30

Between 1945 and 1989, despite the Communist state’s hostility towards religion, 3,780 churches were built in Poland: The Architecture of the VII day. Built by their parishioners, these churches represent a truly communal architecture, one which rejected the rigid modernism of the centralized state.

Post-war Poland was a battle-ground of fiercely competing ideologies. Following the devastation of World War II, a paradoxical rebuilding of society took place, in which Poland’s tradition-bound Catholicism met the fervent technocracy of Soviet Communism. Millions of conservative, religious people from small towns and villages became first-generation proletarians as they moved to industrial cities, newly-built according to the functionalist Soviet template. Missing from the template was the parish church—the shared building which had anchored these newly industrialized communities.

Parish communities in Poland began to fill the spiritual void in the Communist plan. Neither legal nor prohibited, building churches engaged the most talented architects and craftsmen, who in turn enabled parish communities to build their own spaces of worship.

The role of the architect changed: from modernist technocrats serving the state, they became managers of scarce resources and individual talents, working alongside their parishioner clientele. The construction process also changed. Instead of a prefabricated building churned out of a factory, each church was slowly built as parishioners donated their labor on Saturdays and small sums of money on Sundays. As it was built, each church became imbued with its own community history, its own local legend.

Following the election of John Paul II—a Pole—to the papacy in 1978, and the rise of the Solidarity movement in 1980, building churches became as much an expression of faith as it was a form of protest against the Communists. In particular, Solidarity triggered a wave of church-building; hoping to maintain their hold on power, the government ignored the hundreds of new construction projects. The fantastic church designs were ruptures in the rigid urbanism of the centralized state, a testament to the creative will of the people that built them.

Architecture of the VII Day discovers the history of these churches through photography, maps, archival research, and interviews of the builders, the people who came together to construct communal meaning. The English-language edition of the book accompanying the project will be published this year by DOM publishers.

In collaboration with

Reflection Pavilion
Exhibition
Ayuntamiento de Logroño
Concéntrico 05
3×3
Vaumm
Intervention
Plaza del Revellín
Concéntrico 05
Concentrico 05 Contests
Exhibition
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Architecture of the VII Day
Exhibition
Casa de la Imagen
Concéntrico 05
Architecture in Film
Event
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Underground
Lucas Muñoz Muñoz
Intervention
Calado de San Gregorio
Concéntrico 05
Architecture Short Films
Event
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Viaje alrededor del Castaño
Gadea Burgaz - Pablo Losa Fontangordo
Information Pavilion
Plaza Escuelas Trevijano
Concéntrico 05
Living Cloister
Parasite 2.0
Intervention
Patio del Claustro de Santa María de Palacio
Concéntrico 05
Signals 1.0
Tools for Action
Intervention
Nocturnal performances through the city
Concéntrico 05
The Sail at the Ebro
L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Normandie
Intervention
Parque del Ebro
Concéntrico 05
The Wooden Deck
Benedetto Bufalino
Intervention
Aparcamiento de El Espolón
Concéntrico 05
Editors in the City
Event
Santos Ochoa
Concéntrico 05
Las columnas misteriosas
EBBA architects
Intervention
Plaza de Santa Ana
Concéntrico 05
Mies on Scene
Event
Filmoteca de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Nolla
Robin Falck
Intervention
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Encounters
Event
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Intana
Event
Plaza de San Bartolomé
Concéntrico 05
All is ok; we are designing
Intervention
Escuela Superior de Diseño de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
La hoja
FAHR 021.3
Intervention
Plaza de San Bartolomé
Concéntrico 05
Escala Humana
Event
Espacio Lagares
Concéntrico 05
Tea, Chocolate & Coffee
knitknot architecture
Intervention
Biblioteca de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
The Tower
Martin Kloda y Hana Procházková
Intervention
Plaza de San Bartolomé
Concéntrico 05
Stairway to heaven
Juan Llamazares Argüelles
Intervention
Bodegas LAN Viña Lanciano
Concéntrico 05
Taburete Tower
Jakub Szczęsny
Intervention
Casa Farias
Concéntrico 05
I’m Plastic Design
Exhibition
Escuela Superior de Diseño de La Rioja
Concéntrico 05
Passage
Alfredo Baladrón Carrizo
Intervention
Chimenea de la Tabacalera
Concéntrico 05