What architecture appeals to Poles? The simplest and most banal answer is: nice one. But what does it mean? Are only 19th-centure tenement houses nice, or can a ‘wardrobe with windows’ be nice, too? Contrary to the saying that “in matters of taste, there can be no disputes”, time has come to dissect our choices, preferences and aesthetic tastes.
It all began in 2007, when Barbara Bielecka coined the term “gusto polacco”, whose prime example was her beloved child – the Basilica of Licheń. In her interview for Gazeta Wyborcza, she said: “Here the Polish heritage is respected, all the elements are from Polish materials, from Polish nature and tradition, from the royal insignia.”
Do Poles really want such architecture? Do they like it? Why did the environment of architects tear the basilica to pieces? Do laymen and architects inhabit two separate worlds? Błażej Prośniewski set out to search for the answers to these questions, and applied his sociological apparatus to analyse the architectural taste of Poles.