Architecture of sixties of 20th century in Poland is at the same time cosmopolitan and expressive-romantic. It refers to global tendencies in the activity of outstanding architects, whilst according to their contemporaries, most of the artists treated those tendencies too perfunctorily and decoratively, particularly in decorative, pseudo functional detail. Before the 1956 we can not speak about the modern architecture, which cared about the “function”, not the “political idea”. Modernity became the symbol of democracy and freedom. Such cases were touched upon with hope: architecture and urbanization problems after the years 1949-55, architect’s social role and the meaning of specialist knowledge, design reorganization in design studios and architect’s work in it, typisation, architect’s education.
The period of isolation caused considerable tardiness in development of the architectural thought and technical possibilities in Poland. Therefore adapting attractive, modern forms in so-called international and neoexpressionist style was not easy but the objects were being created. Cheap and fast building industry had been needed. Main target was to find the best, typical solutions which realization and exploitation costs would be relatively low to use all over the country. New building methods: raising walls on sliding formwork, using prefabricated frame elements, large panel building system. application of manufacture building systems forced the standardization of components. The consequence was the supplant of individual designs by typical documentation. The variety of elements reduction - typisation - means typical building system, repetitious, ready made projects of objects like schools, dwelling blocks, halls, etc.. Architects’ creativity was strongly limited by the typical projects. By means of what architecture was reduced into civil ingeneering, “primitivised” version of architecture, and the whole Poland looks similar today, what is not only due to architects. The need for mass building trade and the cheep housing problem, not only the residential one, caused such a grand nationalization of the typisation. Thanks to the contemporary government’s resolution from 1959, it was extended e.g. on industrial and general building but many objects connected to the expanding industry, being also the greatest investments of this period. Their characteristic feature is superb modern, interesting architecture and structure solutions or evaluated detailing.
The avant-garde art from the end of the 50’s and the beginning of the 60’s was of great interest within artist. Universal currents ruled not only in the architecture and building industry, but also in all kinds of arts. The good years after 1956 have ended around the mid-sixties for architecture, architects and the public. The retract from the international style, functionalism, and whole modernism was not visible in Poland in the late 60’s. It happened later, as a transition between modernism, through brutalism of the early 70’s to the so-called “postmodernism” in the 80’s.
Keywords: Sixties architecture and urbanization in Poland, post-war modernism, avant-garde art from the end of the 50’s, typisation, manufacture building systems