Piękna (pyenkna) is Polish for beautiful and under this heading I thought I’d share some of my favourite beauties of Warsaw.

First, arguably the prettiest of all buildings, at least when it comes to modern architecture: The Warsaw University Library (BUW) in Powiśle district. Designed by architects Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski and opened 1999, it is undoubtedly an architectural achievement. A low, yet very spacious concrete building with a passage-way covered with a glazed ceiling is contrasted with the greenery of the botanical garden on the roof (designed by Irena Bajerska) and overlooking the Vistula River (with a great view of the new National Football Stadium). The impressive main façade on ul. Dobra side has large blocks of classical texts in various scripts and languages, among them a score by composer Karol Szymanowski.

And the best of all is that this striking piece of architecture is freely accessible not only to the academia, but also to you and me.

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