In case of SuperSam social advacy did not suceed.
Building was demolished, fragments of its structure were scraped.
Warsaw University of Technology was initilay interested in rebuilding SuperSam pavilion on the Poleczki street. However due to miscommunication with Juvenes company it declared that all its
actions on that field will not be continued.

As a replacement for the shop temporary building was erected to ensure the place to work for 100 staff members. Final location of the store will be the ground floor of the new office building erected in this place by BBI Investment found. Acording to the Supersam merchandisers spoksmen some elements of interior of oryginal building may be placed there.

On the other hand the influence of the social action can’t be underestimated. Initiative brought together a lot of people who belive that preservation of modern monuments in Poland is important. The wide scope of ways to expres their opinion on the public forum was introduced. They managed to spread their statments among people who aren’t directly interdeted in the preservation of modern architectue. Cultural events such as exhibition in Kordegarda refering to the memory of the building from 50’s and 60’s were inpired by the action. This change in the landscape of Warsaw became matter of a true public disscusion.




At the beginning of March 2006, three students: Julian Madej, Kuba Świetlik i Basia Golubiewska, created the online survey, to check public opinion about Supersam case.

They are in the fourth year of the Institute of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University and work in the Circle of Social Initiatives Students from the beginning were curious whether people in Mokotów are sentimental about the building and what they think of it’s liquidation.
Because of the online character of the survey, most of the participants were young people. Over 90% of them, claim that they are against building demolishing and it’s one of the symbol of Warsaw for them.
Additionaly young students made some terrain survay to reach out to older people. Also in this social group, the opinion was strict and determined - no for liquidation.

Also many readers of main newspapers, have an opinion that Warsaw's finest works of architecture from the 60s and 70 require the same protection and conservation as the baroque palaces and churches. Supersam was a building in which, for this times, every technical solution or design was a small revolution, phenomenon.

SOCIAL CALL (entity 1)

Around 13th of March 2006 on, public internet forum, appeared call to sign a petition to enter Supersam to the list of historic buildings. Paul Giergoń, fifth-year student of art history at Warsaw University, was the author. Petition was signed by thousands of Warsaw residents, experts in architecture, art critics and historians, the Association of Polish Architects. They all think this building for his outstanding achievement and part of contemporary cultural heritage worthy of protection.

21th of March 2006, provincial conservation officer get a public appeal, for “Supersam” inclusion in the register of monuments. 1.5 thousand people signed a letter in defense of Supersam.

A letter signed by enthusiasts Supersam was sent by e-mail to the general conservator Thomas Merta. People wanted to take immediate action to ensure the protection and inclusion object to the register of monuments of architecture.


Official expertise was made by prof. Kazimierz Szylborski form Warsaw Univerisity of Technology. He claim that the roof of Supersam may collapse because because of corrosion of steel ropes, which sustain the construction.

“Supermarket must close and demolish or remove the existing corroded roof and play it pretty again” - said prof. Kazimierz Szulborski after the research work of his team, whose just drafted a final report on the technical condition of the object. In his opinion “Supersam” is in “state of emergency”: part of the roof structure consists of 15 prestressing beams made of steel wire. They were corroded in 20, 40 or even 60 percent.
He said that the only way to save the building is removing the roof and build it again.

DESIGNER (entity 3)

For the author of the Supersam, situation is obvious - When he designed and built Supersam (1962), square meter of land in the city center, cost zero. Now it is worth the $ 1,000 or more. Both owner and co-investor of the store, plan to build a much larger facility to earn money.

For Him there was no problem in renovation of the construction. He wanted to replace
compression cables by the new one. This is the method used also for bridges Siekierkowski and Świętokrzyski. Cables are taken out and the new one are beeing inserted. This process takes 2 weeks and extend building live for next 40 years.


Grzegorz Buczek, urban planner and vice president of the Association of Polish Architects said that, paradoxically, putting Supersam on monument list, can lead Supersamowi more harm than good.
As an example he gave "Okrąglak" department store, in shape of a cylinder, from Poznań designed by Marek Leykamt. It has problems from the beginning of object recognition as a historical monument of modern architecture. Nothing can be changed, modernized. It's a curse for a building, that is deteriorating.

He gave also the solution: “Warsaw SARP compiled a list of objects that define the identity of the town and represent the heritage of contemporary culture. There is more than one hundred buildings including ones built after World War II, also Supersam.
This list is a part of the "Study of conditions and directions of spatial development of Warsaw. "

In practice, it means that after the adoption of the authors of the study, each master plan must subscribe to what extent the protection of a Heritage building is necessary to preserve its most important characteristics for future generations.



Communicative planning and public participation in urban planning are quite new factors in the process of creation of Warsaw cityscape. Such a process were impossible during the social times when urban planners were striving to create the living machine and tried to design for the Utopian people. Nor they were possible in the early 90’s when basis of the citizen society were to weak to face power of the wealthy . Nowadays the groups of advocates are well developed and have tools to influence the decisions made by the city authorities. In this essay we would like to focus on the group that gathers over the subject of preservation of valuable contemporary architecture and very particular case of lost defence of Super Sam that was demonstration of power of this group and also the generative moment when most of their members realised that they constitute a group united by one goal. On the other hand we want to show how similar means may become very successful taking for instance the recent discussion about the wall on Służewiec, an street art gallery destroyed by marketing event of Adidas company.


SuperSam is the building located on Unii Lubelskiej Square. It was designed in 1962 by architects Jerzy Hryniewiecki, Maciej Krasiński, Maciej Gintowt and structure engineers Wacław Zalewski, prof. Stanisław Kuś and Andrzej Żórawski. The innovative structure of the enroofment is placed among the most interesting structures of the 20th century. Supermarket is located on the prepared by the Association of Polish Architects', list of objects from the period 1945-1989 , considered the heritage of contemporary culture and identity of the city.


First rumors about plans to destroy Super-Sam break up in 2005. Owner of the building, the Consumer cooperative “Super-Sam” decided that building have to be demolished. Owner of the building have already entered into an agreement with theinvestment fund “BBI Investment” (finance the construction of a new building) and the company Juvenes (building permission). They want to place place there a six/seven-story retail and office building.


THE CURIOUS CASE OF SUPERSAM by Anna Śliwka, Katarzyna Westrych and Maciek Burdalski

Our blog raises controversial issue: the demolition of the building of SUPERSAM.