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Solidarity Centre Rises

Just over thirty years ago one of the seminal events in Cold War history happened in Poland - the Solidarity strikes. As the first non-communist trade union in Poland it recruited almost a third of the working population of the country, and despite many deaths had a lasting impact on the country.

Today in the former Gdansk shipyard a commemorative centre is taking place that casts an eye back on the events of 1981. The project has been designed to directly symbolise the industrial feeling the former shipyard had with panels of Cor-ten steel used extensively throughout the gently sloping exterior to fashion a rusted look.

Set over a solid concrete structure, the steel panels contrast with the glazed frontage and roof that opens the building up to large amounts of natural light, even in its farthest depths.

It's hoped that the project will serve not just as a functioning museum to show the past labour relations in Poland, but also work as a centre for promoting democracy and human rights. Features include not just museum spaces and meeting auditoriums but also a corridor of wheat with Cor-ten steel walls and ivory growing on them, plus a variety of other internal gardens.

The project first surfaced back in 2010, and is on schedule for a 2013 finish.
Solidarity Centre, Gdansk
Solidarity Centre, Gdansk