Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Poland
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki) in Warsaw is the highest and the most "political" building in the city. The palace was built as a gift from the Soviet Union to Poland during the Cold War after Poland felt under the influence of USSR. Originally it was called "Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science" because the idea of building this high rise belonged to Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin himself. Construction of the building began a year before Stalin's death, in 1952, and continued until 1955. Not surprisingly, the residents of the city, despite the unique beauty of the building, dislike the Palace of Culture and Science and are considering it as an attempt by the Soviet Union to show its power and dominance in Poland. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some politicians in Poland even were proposing to demolish the building, but fortunately their efforts didn’t succeed. It is not surprising, that in support of the so-called "anti- Russian" or "pro- European" political protests of Ukrainians on Evromaydan in 2013 the Palace of Culture was illuminated in the colors of Ukrainian flag.
According to the project of the Soviet architects under the leadership of renowned architect Lev Rudnev, the building was supposed to become a unique symbol of the Soviet Union in the capital Warsaw. This is why the building was constructed similar to "Stalin's skyscrapers" and, despite the efforts of the chief architect Lev Rudnev to include Polish architectural elements in the design, the final result is very much similar to the main building of the Moscow State University. This is not surprising, because L. Rudnev was one of the authors of Moscow State University design, and later he used this building as a model for the construction of the Palace in Warsaw.
For the construction of the building more than 40 million bricks were used. High rise has height of 230.68 meters including spire and is one of the ten tallest skyscrapers in the European Union. The clock on the tower till recent years was the highest tower-clock in the World.
Originally the building was intended to be a university, but the Polish government found more appropriate to use it as a Palace of culture and science. Today the 42 floors of the building have 3,000 rooms, including the largest conference hall in Poland. Thanks to its spaciousness the building hosts offices of different companies, cinemas, museums, a library, and the Polish Academy of Sciences. On the 30th floor there is an observation deck with beautiful panorama of the city.
By Anna Pambukhchyan, www.building.am