In 2017, the landmark Praga district will be enlivened by a major new project, adding a highlight to Warsaw attracting thousands of tourists and presenting a part of Polish culture in an interesting way. Just two years after the second line of the Metro opens nearby, the Polish Vodka Museum will open at Koneser.
The history of vodka…
Polish vodka is one of the most recognized Polish brands in the world. It is also one of the country’s flagship exports and an integral element of the national heritage. Through over 600 years of history and tradition, vodka has become one of the symbols of Poland.
As explained by Andrzej Szumowski, president of the Polish Vodka Association, “The Scots have their whisky, the French have cognac and champagne. The time has come for Poles to proclaim their national spirit. Hence the initiative of Pernod Ricard, under the auspices of the Polish Vodka Association, to establish the Polish Vodka Museum at Koneser.”
The development of the permanent exhibition is being conducted through an open competition organized in cooperation with the Union of Polish Architects. The jury for the competition will include architects, representatives of Pernod Ricard Polska and the Polish Vodka Association, and figures from the world of culture. An innovative, interactive and intriguing exhibition will be installed in the revitalized 19th-century distillery at the Koneser Praga Centre.
…is also the history of Koneser
Michał Skotnicki, CEO of BBI Development SA, said, “By locating the museum at Koneser, we will bring the genius of this site forward into the 21st century.”
Koneser is a unique space: post-industrial buildings of red brick, retaining their historic installations once used to produce vodka, create an atmosphere not encountered anywhere else in the world. It was here that such famous brands as Luksusowa and Wyborowa were first produced. “That is why it is so important that the museum is created in the Praga district,” Skotnicki said. “The benefits generated by tourist traffic and the cultural program will be felt by inhabitants of the district and local businesses.”
The museum is part of the Koneser Praga Centre, a project being built by BBI Development and the Liebrecht & wooD Group.
Marc Lebbe, Managing Director of the Liebrecht & wooD Group, said, “Following the positive experience in joint implementation of the awarding-winning Plac Unii project, our firms are once again joining forces to create a unique space in Warsaw. We plan to build a mixed-use quarter offering an appealing combination of residential, commercial and cultural space, which contemporary Warsaw very much needs. We are pleased to sign the agreement with the Polish Vodka Museum, as the partnership with this institution reflects the concept of Koneser as a place skilfully combining tradition and modernity.”
The design for the complex includes adaption of the landmark post-industrial buildings of the former vodka distillery and creation of contemporary buildings harmoniously blending with the historic structure of the site. The residential section is already under construction, and soon work will begin on retail, service and office space. It will be a major contribution to the urban fabric of Warsaw, with 342 loft homes (both “hard” and “soft”), over 28,000 m2 of retail space for boutiques, restaurants and service points, and 22,000 m2 of office space. It will be a thriving location in the heart of the historic Praga district.