Poland-based architecture firm Modelina designed the contemporary and curvaceous Water Pavilion, a bridge and public gathering space that spans the historic Warta River in Poznań, Poland. The wavy two-level bridge is complemented by a built-in amphitheater that will host year-round art and cultural events. The dual-use Modelina will serve as the heart of the city’s “River in the city,” an urban renovation project to restore the river’s original water route and line the riverfront with vibrant public spaces and green parks.
The Water Pavilion consists of two overlapping sections: a public exhibition space and a multi-leveled pedestrian bridge linking the old left-bank of Poznań with Chwaliszewo Island. The new bridge will allow for the continuity of the town’s so-called Imperial Route, which stretches from the Cathedral to the Old Market Square.
The pavilion will do much more than connect the two river banks. “The mission of Water Pavilion project is not to ask questions whether to restore or not to restore the old course of the river, but rather to remind the history of this place,” write the architects.
The placement of the bridge is significant to the town’s history as well. The river Warta was home to Poznań’s satellite settlements going back to the early Middle Ages. Since that time, the local population that lives around what’s known as the Chwaliszewo Bend came to depend on the river for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, in the 60s, the river course was altered, leaving a dry river bed that created a cold, industrial atmosphere. The city’s “River in the city” urban renovation project hopes to breathe life and play back into the neglected waterway.