Photos © 2017, Mat Fahrenholz for Poland In Your Pocket
Often overlooked by those in a rush to catch a train, the small railway stations dotted around the centre of the city are well worth checking out by those with an interest in the wacky, space age architecture of 1950’s Warsaw and it’s reassuring to know that the railway authorities still hold these magical oddities in high regard.
Here’s a short list of 4 of them.
1 & 2. Powiśle Station (in Powiśle & city centre)
Probably the most iconic is the UFO shaped Powiśle Station; the entrance situated in the district of Powiśle under the Poniatowski bridge. The station was designed by Arseniusz Romanowicz and Piotr Szymaniak in 1955 and we are also big fans of the city centre entrance, located directly opposite the National Gallery. Cult movie fans may also be interested to note that the ‘Flying Saucer’ part of the structure made a brief appearance in Aki Kaurismaki’s 1994 film ‘Leningrad Cowboys meet Moses’. Today, this part of the station is home to one of the city’s very cool and popular hipster cafes, with the adjoining staircase leading you directly onto the station platforms.
3. Śródmieście WKD station
The entrance to the Śródmieście WKD station may well be dwarfed by the adjoining Central Railway Station but the giant, propeller-like roof attempts to make something grand of what is otherwise a tiny kiosk and a couple of staircases leading you down to the platform for local and short distance trains. In 2002 the station became the subject of a painting by Scottish artist, Toby Paterson – a man who travels the world and takes his inspiration from concrete jungle curiosities.
4. Warszawa Ochota
Situated amongst the rather down trodden kiosks on the corner of ul. Jerozolimskie and Towarowa is another dynamic structure built between 1960 and 1962 and designed by Romanowicz and Szymaniak in the 1950’s. The soaring roof is reminiscent of a kite which has just floated down to earth, although architects and mathematicians prefer to describe the roof as a ‘distinctive hyperboloic paraboloid’ – who are we to argue with that?