The Theatre Under Construction. Travelogue

The Theatre Under Construction. Travelogue

The subject of the book is the legendary “Theatre Under Construction”. The publication comprises of a descriptive part and a photographic album. The descriptive part is the postdoctoral dissertation of the Lublin-based architect Bolesław Stelmach (who designed the final version of the “Theatre Under Construction”), whereas the album presents the photographs by Marcin Czechowicz and Marcin Moszyński.

It was our desire to create a book that would appeal to the sense of touch. Therefore, we used recycled paper with characteristic texture. In order to strengthen the final effect, in parts of the book we used glossy coated paper. Double embossed hardback with open, spineless binding.

who Idalia Smyczyńska, Paweł Szarzyński, Robert Zając
technical aspect 175×250 mm, 450 pages, sewn and glued binding, hard (Geltex covering material), paper Revive Pure Natural Offset 140 g/m2 and Magno Gloss 150 g/m2, fonts: Karmina Sans (TypeTogether) and Klavika Display (Process Type Foundary)
when 2016
published by The Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre
printed & bound by Petit
awards “Edycja” Perfect Book Design 2016 (Book Design Award); 50 Books | 50 Covers – AIGA + Design Observer Award 2017

The over-forty-year “construction process” lasted from the 1970s until 2016, leaving a plot of impressive size in the centre of Lublin occupied by a bulky structure overgrown with greenery and enclosed by a fence. In the meantime, part of the object was renovated and appropriated as the seats of the Lublin Philharmonic and Music Theatre. The remaining part of the building, together with its façade mounting over the main street of the city is currently open to the public. The publication summarises the mentioned process and the attempt of a general reflection upon structural engineering.

Additionally to the traditional division, a four-layered structure was applied in the book (three layers concerning the text and the fourth consists of illustrations, outlines and the album part). In order to separate them, we have used columns of different width for each layer. The book is bilingual, the column layout is asymmetrical, each of the linguistic layers is equipped with around 300 notes, often of considerable length, which were placed on the margins.

The album part consists of black and white photographs presented in a chronological and spatial order in reference to the building and the history of its construction. The only coloured elements are the slips inserted in a couple of places. Made of glossy paper, they have different measurements than the remaining pages. The greater part of the book was printed on high quality paper with very rare and minute remains of the recycled paper.

The covered was engrossed with an abstract motive referring to the characteristic concrete patterns visible on some of the building’s walls.

Spineless hardback enables easy access to the 400-page book and, in our opinion, complements the architecture manifesting the primary construction of the object and the diverse textures.

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