Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw

This exhibition maps the turbulent history and changing face of Wroclaw city by telling the story of Renoma. Designed in 1930 by modernist architect Hermann Dernburg (1868-1935) for the Wertheim family as one of the largest, truly international retail stores, its original concept was shortlived. But, after years of neglect, it underwent careful restoration and reopened in April 2009 with a new wing designed by Mackow Pracownia Projecktowa in collaboration with Arup.

The exhibition features a new commission by collage artist Jan Dziaczkowski as well as works documenting contemporary Wroclaw by photographer Marcin Czechowicz, both showing in the UK for the first time.

Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw will be showing at Phase 2 from 16 October 2009 as part of Polska! Year. Now extended until 26 February 2010.


Arup is also hosting two talks in partnership with the RIBA Trust.

Architecture and the Polish Context
Wednesday 18 November, 18.30

Tony Fretton, architect of the British Embassy in Warsaw, in conversation with Aneta Szylak, Director of the Wyspa Institute of Art, Krzysztof Ingarden, architect and designer of the Polish Pavilion, Aichi Expo 2005, Japan and Lukasz Zagala, Medusa Group, Polish architect.

Challenging the Paradigm: Polish Urban Development in the 21st Century 
Wednesday 27 January, 18.30

In recent years a new wave of Polish talent has offered critiques of the standard forms of urban planning. Aleksandra Wasikowska, author of numerous proposals for Warsaw including Plac Defilad talks with Joanna Rajkowska, artist of the recent Oxygenator Project in Warsaw and Grzegorz Piatek, co-curator of OPEN:POLAND.

Polska! Year

Polska! Year is a joint initiative by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cultural programme is coordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which is responsible for the promotion of Polish culture abroad.


  • Film still from 'Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw' showing a close up of a film reel.  Credit: Arup.Play video

    Watch the Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw film trailer

  • Renoma, closeup of outer facade. Credit Mackow Pracownia Projektowa.Open gallery

    New wing of Renoma, 2009, designed by Mackow Pracownia Projektowa in collaboration with Arup.

  • Stone heads from the façade of Wertheim's department store.Open gallery

    Details from façade of Renoma - formely Wertheim's department store, designed in 1929 by Hermann Dernburg.

  • Renoma under construction. Credit Karolina Bielak.Open gallery

    Renoma under construction, 2006-2009. Photos by Karolina Bielak.

  • Polska! Year logo