An intriguingly bizarre postmodern department store built in 1993 in Wrocław, Poland is currently being considered for the region's protected monuments list. If successful, the pink, violet and green Solpol department store would be the youngest monument on the list by at least 20 years. Built by the architect Wojciech Jarząbek in a jagged, geometric style just as Poland was emerging from decades of Communist rule, the experimental structure has since become a symbol of the country's transformation into a capitalist society, hailed as "one of the best examples of postmodern architecture in Poland."
To build his exuberantly garish mall, Jarząbek deployed a number of techniques that were rare in Poland at that time, like irregularly shaped windows. The distinctive department store is located on a street lined with historic buildings, many of which were gray back in 1993. The Polish architecture magazine, Architektura Murator, recently named it one of the 25 best Polish buildings of the last 20 years.
"Looking at Solpol is like browsing through elementary school pictures. Yes, indeed, we had terrible haircut and strange clothes, but we can't neglect that period and throw the pictures away," Polish art historian Agata Gabiś told Archinect. "They are a part of our identity."