City Initiative Association

Spirit of the Place
temporary coffee house, 2014

Józef Wassowski Street received its name in 1947 to commemorate the journalist, lecturer and activist of the Alliance of Democrats. But its previous name was Piękna Street (Beautiful Street) because of its architecture and access to a park on the hill.
Before the war, in the immediate vicinity of the park there used to be the famous restaurant Zingler, and the entire hill was nicknamed Zinglershöhe. It was there that groups of inhabitants of Gdańsk gathered for long festive nights.
In its project, City Initiative Association wants to refer to the glory days of that part of the district and restore the spirit of the place for a short while. The former atmosphere is to be recreated by a real ecological coffee house and a video projection – moving image borrowed from another contemporary coffee house.
The entire thing, with wooden post-industrial tables, benches and chairs is located in the place where a picturesque little square and stairs leading to the forest mark the end of the road.
Colourful lamps are hanging between tree branches to attract passers-by with their light. At the same time, local inhabitants are asked to co-create the coffee house, their presence and contribution (baked cakes and snacks prepared by people living in the area) are to imbue mutual relations with life and bring back the pre-war dynamics of this public place.
Formally, the coffee house has a makeshift and temporary character, it relies on cheap materials, because the real potential and timelessness reside in the invitation from the dwellers of Wrzeszcz to all those who appear here during Narrations.
The real aura and power of this place are an invitation shouted out loud – feel like at home!

Inicjatywa Miasto is a young association that gathers architects, artists, designers and urban planners. Runs activities aimed at improving the quality of public space, in an attempt to make it bustle with life, respond to the needs of many social groups, become harmonious, clean, accessible to everybody, and to ensure that it creates a sense of belonging.
One of their main projects this year is the summer holiday cycle of urban picnics in Świętopełka Square in Gdańsk. Currently, the Association is working to arrange Ławy Mięsne Square next to St. Mary’s Church.