People

After over half a century since the construction was finished, the audience gets an opportunity to get to know the history of the buildings and their inhabitants. Every flat has it’s own story. We’re introduced to long term residents, who live here from the beginning and students, who rent the apartment for only a couple of months alike. Have the buildings stood the test of time during the generations?

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History

Facing an unknown fate in the middle of the development, the construction risked to be canceled and demolished only to be saved by the Communist Party Secretary, after his return from an architecture exhibition in Paris. Edward Gierek gave a further green light to continue the works after finding out how well the design was received at the Paris - Expo.

Featured in: 

Genres: Documentary

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Availability: Worldwide

(un)usual Manhattan 

A film by Filip Janerka

Architecture

One of the communist Poland’s most innovative and unique apartment estate project turned out to be a worldwide - recognized masterpiece. With it’s H-frame construction elements designed from the ground up to marble floorings and custom ordered swedish elevators, unavailable in Poland at the time, the buildings remain a true gem that amazes architects to this day.

(un)usual Manhattan

70's'. Poland is under the foot of the USSR and it is at this time that an architect, visionary, with her stubbornness and consistency led to the construction of her life's work: a concrete estate in a style that is considered by many to be an icon of social modernism to this day. The film director takes us on a journey during which we learn how architecture works after more than 50 years of use. We observe life in apartments, corridors, yards, basements and we get to know a kind of micro world of the housing estate in the center of Wrocław. Is it a magnifying glass for Polish society and Poland itself?


 

The film is a story about architecture, the amazing lady architect Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak, and how her work influences the next generations.

The estate is located in Grunwaldzki square, Wroclaw

lady architect

She was called an icon of post-war Wroclaw architecture. She was born on October 29, 1920 in Tarnawce, and died on June 4, 2018.

 

Jadwiga Grabowska-Hawrylak - architect of Polish modernism, associated with Wroclaw, member of the Association of Architects of the Republic of Poland. She took part in the restoration of Wroclaw's monuments, designed schools, housing estates, single-family houses, also shopping centers, resorts and temples.

During her professional career, she worked at the Wrocław University of Technology (from 1947), at the Arkady cooperative (1948–1951), and then at the Design and Research Office of General Construction Miastoprojekt - Wrocław (from 1951).

 

Her first projects were also related to the reconstruction of historic buildings destroyed during the war, including townhouses Rynek - Town Hall 7 and 8 (1954), which were included in the register of monuments 13 years after the uprising.

Who We Are

KOVA Productions is a Production House from Wrocław, specializing in documentary films. We create socially responsible content. We’re interested in real stories that, when translated into the language of the film, have a chance to cause a real change. Our headquarters are located within the walls of the former Fabular Film Studio in Wrocław, a place of great merit for Polish cinematography, where over 200 of the most eminent Polish directors have worked over the years. Drawing on the inspiring atmosphere, twenty years of experience and great passion for what we do, we try to tell unique stories, provoke discussion and be a lever for social change.