This book from the Polish photographer Michal Luczak was one of my favorite discoveries this fall when I was invited to talk at the TIFF photography festival. It is a work which Michal made between June 2010 and January 2011 at the now destroyed Katowice rail station in Poland. The term “brutalist” architecture refers to a certain style of architecture dominant between the 50s and 70s, lots of concrete, modernist, blockish and fortress like. This building was considered to be the last example of this era in Poland.
….Katowice Railway Station constructed in 1972 was a high-standard building. Raw concrete constructions were at the time a symbol of modernity and prosperity of Polish PeopleÕs Republic. Only a decade later neglected building began to fall into ruins. Even 21 years of independent Poland didnÕt help and the condition of the building continued to fall. Nobody felt responsible for it.A ruin in the city center of the biggest, postindustrial coal-mining district in Poland started to live its own life. On one hand it was still a place were people got on and off the trains but on the other it became an area of uncommon “passengers” who didn’t have any tickets and never got on any train. They where the ones who created there some kind of a parallel world which existed on the sidelines of normal life. ML
A big and bold design, it is a large book and feels a bit like a building with beautiful full spread b/w portraits and architecture details.
It is limited to 300 signed copies so try to look for it soon.
I included it on my Photo-Eye Best Books list for 2012.