With our graduation studio, we went on a studytrip to Łódź.
“An important industrial centre, the city, dubbed the Polish Manchester, has been famous for its textile industry; however, after years of prosperity during the socialist era, the city experienced decline after the fall of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In recent years, Łódź was seemingly forgotten by the government, investors, and travelers in favor for other cities, such as Kraków, Warsaw or Wrocław.” Wiki
On the second day of our trip we visited Manufaktura; the former cotton mill of Izrael K. Poznanski. This was one of the largest industrial buildings erected in the 19th century in Polish territory and Europe. Only recently this was redeveloped into a large area with many leisure and cultural venues. A part of the cotton mill was in 2008 transformed into the four star Andel’s Hotel. Nowadays Manufaktura serves as a public center/square for the inhabitants of Łódz and it has created many jobs.
Not only had Lodz many interesting transformed industrial buildings to see. It had also a very intriguing history. On Wednesday we visited the Jewish cemetery, which is actually one of Europe’s largest. This was very impressive, but the story was saddening.
On our last day we visited the Ksiezy Mlyn and the Museum of Textiles. On this day the Lodz Fotofestiwal opened, which we also visited in Art Incubater; another successful transformation project. The pictures were very nice and the atmosphere was great.
During the week we repeatedly enjoyed ourselves at Off Piotrkowska; an old industrial complex literally off the impressive Piotrkowska Street where many restaurants and bars were located.
The studytrip was super interesting and I learned a lot about transforming industrial buildings, but also about the history and culture of Poland. Lodz is definitely worth visiting, certainly since it is not touristic at all!