SDK – unusual building full of culture

Everyone knows the famous Palace of Culture and Science which is located just next to the Central Train Station in Warsaw. But many people do not know that in Poland there are many smaller places that are made for the people from the certain districts. They are called “domy kultury” which can be literally translated as “the houses of culture” but they are small cultural centers. One of these is Służewski Dom Kultury and it is somehow special and worth visiting.

Before I show you the place I visited yesterday afternoon, I need to send a special “thank you” to my friends: Doris, Andrzej – thank you for showing me that place as possibly I would never find that area all by myself! So thanks again.

Służewski Dom Kultury (or SDK) is located in Mokotów district, exactly in the part of it that is called Służew, there is also an underground station with the same name, so it’s easy to get there. The building itself is a project of two architectural studios. According to the architects, the concept was to “create a rural complex” inside the city. And I must say – well done! Even though there is a lot of green parts on the one side of the buildings, the other side is full of blocks and there is even some street – I did not really pay attention to them though and I think it’s the same for everyone. The building is relatively new: in 2008 the project was introduced and the construction started in 2013.

Of course the main purpose of this building is to organize cultural events, run some classes for the people of all ages and also create regular events with the people who are taking part in such classes. However, if you didn’t know that this is “a house of culture”, you might have no idea that this is the purpose of the building. Take a look!

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Even though there is no official statement from the architect saying what style was used, both me and my friends assumed that there might be some influence from Scandinavian culture. There is a lot of wood and glass and the simple buildings are connected by large stairs. Those stairs are also a place where you can sit or (in case of the children) you can play. Downstairs there is also a coffee shop and a gallery, but about that in a moment.

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The other purpose of this cultural center is to create an ecological awareness in young people. There are some classes that can teach you how to make your own garden and grow your plants, there are also bees that are kept in the complex. I think the first pictured building might be used to grow plants, regardless of the weather.

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I am also pretty sure that some of the energy for this building is created by the wind. This might be a part of the ecological awarness that is shared with the people who attend this place. And this might also be very useful as Poland is quite windy in the past few years.

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As I mentioned, there is also a coffee place. The name of the place is somehow connected to the name of the area, though it is just a modification to sound catchy. Służew used to be a village and now is a part of Warsaw, yet – there is no special meaning behind its name. The name of the coffee place is “Służę Kawą” – literally “I offer you coffee”. If we take only the word “Służę” – it would mean “I serve” – but in the meaning of fullfilling the orders of the person who hires you (so, kind of “I am your servant” thing). Yet – the whole word combination is very nice and altogheter sounds very welcoming and warm. So taking one letter away and replacing “e” with “ę” for gramatical correctness did the trick really well!

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We also got inside to have a look at the interior. The colours are very delicate – there is nothing controversial and the simplicity dominates there. When we entered, there was also an exhibition of the pictures connected with Służewiec (not the same as Służew). Służewiec is a neighbouring area with a very famous horse racing stadium. Some pictures were from there.

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I also checked what kind of classes are run by SDK. To name a few: theatre, singing, painting, photography, classic guitar, dance theatre, yoga classes etc. There are some just for adults and there are some just for children and teenagers. Majority is for children and teenagers. Some of the classes are organized for the whole families as well.

The building is located in the part of Dolina Służewiecka – which is a beautiful park in Warsaw. So after you visit SDK, you can also enjoy some nice walk. The place is located on Bacha street no. 15. As I mentioned, you can get there easily by getting into the underground (line 1). You need to get out at Służew station and to get there, the direction you need to take is Kabaty.

If you have any special buildings like that in your cities or countries – let me know in comments. I am very curious about them.

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