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The Theatre Under Construction. Travelogue

The book’s focus is on the architectural history and design of Lublin’s now legendary Theatre Under Construction, which has been “under construction” since the early 1970s, right up until 2016 – the date this book was published.
For most of this four-decade-long period the unfinished shell stood within the heart of the city, surrounded by a fence, overgrowing with wild vegetation. In 2012, EU funds allowed the construction to continue and finally finish. Currently, it is one of the leading arts and cultural institutions in the region.
Its history on the one hand shows the excess of ambition shown by communist dignitaries who signed off on the original design, as well as the system’s inability to deliver on its promises. On the other hand, it is also a testament to the modernising drive which has exemplified Poland since the start of the post-communist transformation.
Our book represents a summary of the above processes, as well as reflecting upon and framing the themes of architectural design and construction.

The unique character of the project lies in striking solutions (printed spineless binding, abstract and embossed front cover), which are in line with the subject matter of the book. Solutions typical for artistic books were successfully used in a publication to a large extend scientific. We decided to treat the book primarily as a spatial object and notice its physical attributes, expose the binding and the glue. Only then it became the apt illustration of the building presented by the textual layer of the book.

  • Type of project book
  • Scope of works book cover, book layout, typesetting (Idalia Smyczyńska, Robert Zając)
  • Format 175×250 mm, 450 pages
  • Paper / Binding Revive Pure Natural Offset 140 g/m², Magno Gloss 150 g/m², hardcover
  • Fonts Karmina Sans, Klavika Display
  • Date 2016
  • Client The Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre
  • Awards “Edycja” Perfect Book Design 2016 (Award); 50 Books | 50 Covers – AIGA + Design Observer Award 2017