Lachert and Szanajca

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¬ródło: artnert The Grove Dictionary of Art

Polish architectural partnership formed in 1926 by Bohdan Lachert (b Moscow, 13 June 1900; d Warsaw, 8 Jan 1987) and Józef Szanajca (b Lublin, 17 March 1902; d Plazów, 24 Sept 1939). Lachert studied in the Department of Architecture, Technical University of Warsaw (1919–26). Szanajca graduated from the same institution and worked there as assistant from 1929 until his death. They became friends in 1922 and prepared their first joint project in 1924; in 1926 they became members of the avant-garde Praesens group and were later in contact with CIAM.

They were supporters of radical Functionalism and the introduction of new materials like glass and steel. At the same time they designed some small, standardized houses (1926) at Klementynów, near Warsaw, which were cubist in shape and constructed from a combination of prefabricated components and traditional timber. The partnership of Lachert and Szanajca was prolific; between 1926 and 1939, occasionally working with other architects, they produced c. 150 designs, of which more than 40 were built.

Their designs ranged from residential buildings and houses to churches, office buildings, exhibition pavilions and sanatoriums. Notable examples of their built works include Lachert’s own house (1928–9) at 9–11a Katowicka Street, equipped with furniture to his designs, and the Szyller Villa (begun 1928) in Wal Miedzeszynski, both in Warsaw; a boarding house, Viktoria Regia (begun 1928), in Kamienna Góra, Gdynia; the Tabita House (1929–33), 43 Dluga Street, Skolimów; and terraced houses in Promyk, Dygasinskiego and Dziennikarska Streets (1934; with R. Piotrowski), all in Warsaw.

One of their last works together was the Polish Pavilion at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937), Paris, which won the Grand Prix. The designs of Lachert and Szanajca also included c. 70 competition entries, more than 50 of which received prizes or commendations. Important examples of these unexecuted works include designs for the church of St Roch, Bialystok (1926); the School of Political Sciences, Warsaw (1926); the Palace of the League of Nations, Geneva (1927); and the Polish Radio Building, Warsaw (1938), in which an elongated, curved, low-rise building was juxtaposed with an oval-plan tower block.

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