The new Małopolska Garden of Arts in Krakow is a sprawling cultural center constructed inside the skeleton of a Victorian horse riding arena. Designed by Ingarden & Ewy Architects, the glass and louver-encased center is the new home of the Juliusz Slowacki Theater and the Malopolska Voivodeship Library. The building enlivens a street already frequented by students, anchoring the area as a new cultural center for the city.
The slatted outside of the MGA center extends over a partially enclosed garden area that beckons passersby from the street. The garden’s roof is perforated to leave space for existing trees on the property to poke through and continue to flourish. Encompassing most of a city block, the center combines outside space with flexible areas that house a theater, concert hall, library, café and classroom space. The architects designed the building to accommodate future tenants and organizations to come – the facilities are able to accommodate events ranging from film screenings to small theatrical productions and symphonies.
The outdoor garden area can even be used to extend the performance space. The clear glass and steel enclosure mimics the forms of the adjacent buildings while rendering their historic architecture visible. A feat of modernity that preserves history, the Malopolska Garden of Arts was awarded the Professor Janusz Bogdanowski Prize for the best architectural achievement in Krakow in the year 2012.
Photos by Krzysztof Ingarden