Artist Piotr Janowski Wraps an Abandoned House in Aluminium Foil, Warsaw 2019

The art installation “Ząbkowska 9, Take off!” has been specially designed by the artist Piotr Janowski for the inhabitants of Praga-North district in Warsaw.

Janowski has completely covered the historic tenement house built in 1870, situated in old Praga district, with aluminium foil.

The artist would like to draw attention to the broadly understood social aspects, architecture and everyday life of the district, which, in consequence, will give rise to all kinds of thoughts and reflections, very often spontaneous and unpredictable during the preparation and construction of the project.


“I believe that my aluminium installation will, for a moment, turn into a symbolic silver bridge, which will combine the dreams of the pre-war past and then the dramatic years of the city’s inhabitants during the occupation with the contemporary positive changes that are taking place so definitely in this fascinating Warsaw district. I think that this is an ideal and unique time to adapt one of the abandoned buildings for this project and symbolically make its destroyed beauty reborn.” Piotr Janowski.

The aluminium facade in its very subtle and sensitive way shows and uncovers (and does not cover and this makes an extremely significant difference for Piotr Janowski) architectural beauty and proportions, and its shabby brick walls, full of wounds and scars, become delicately wrapped in aluminium, which symbolises changes and development as well as a brightly cosmic future. Paradoxically, it is revealing through concealing.

The aluminium relief of the facade of the building, regardless of the time of day or year, intricately and gently reflects the changing ambient light and the silhouettes of people passing by, and the whole texture of the building surprises with its subtlety and luminous reflexes. An important aspect of this urban art installation is its effect into private and public space.

During the installation Janowski spent time with Wieslaw, a 59 year old homeless man who has been taking shelter in the building for over a year. They spent 7 days working closely together mostly high up in the lift and formed a great bond.

“He was my great assistant and helper. Every single day, for the last five months, he has been checking the walls and making repairs and touch-ups… It’s his silver castle!” Piotr Janowski

In 2015 Piotr Janowski made international headlines after creating a large-scale art installation, applying aluminium foil to every inch of his bungalow and driveway, as well as the land’s surrounding palm trees at his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida.



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