Maria Maffei, Monica Picca • Memory infrastructures

Project for the museographic regeneration of the memorialistic site of ul. Waliców


The city of Warsaw is a post-apocalyptic city, as is evident from the photo taken by Russian surveyors in 1945, who immortalized a city razed to the ground, consisting of rubble and a few buildings that survived. These images represent the total destruction by the Nazis during World War II in order to erase an entire culture. In today's ever-expanding city out of scale with respect to the historic city, the "post-apocalyptic" character is revealed only through the archaeological survival of a few fragments of the ghetto wall and some buildings including the three of the project area in Ul. Waliców.

The project aims to overturn this condition of total annihilation by reviving the city of Warsaw from its ruins through a process of urban regeneration that recomposes the surviving fragments through the wall that becomes a connecting element.The analysis studies the conformation of the ghetto wall that has modified the urban structure in different ways: integrating with the building, crossing it, using it and excluding or including, according to administrative, economic and religious needs, some parts of the city (enclaves or fences). The Waliców area morphologically represents all the categories outlined in the analysis and therefore becomes the emblem of the original shape of the ghetto.

The regeneration of the project area passes through the reactivation of the relationship between the specific identity of the wall and the theme of the border between the city and the forbidden city: the wall of the ghetto from infrastructure of coercion becomes in the project an infrastructure for memory. The fragment of the ghetto wall in Ul. Waliców becomes the generating element of the archaeological excavation and through a system of ramps brings to light the underground world of memory.

The project reinterprets the theme of infrastructure in the new buildings, in a different way, built on the ruins re-emerged through the archaeological excavation: in the north-west area it relates to the city through a building-infrastructure placed on the ruins that detaches from the ground to give a glimpse of an underground world of artifacts; in the south-east area it completes the block with another building infrastructure that stands on the ruins of the building that has not survived.


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Images of the project