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Supreme Court, Warsaw | Gmach Sądu Najwyższego, Warszawa

June 9, 2013

To round out today’s theme on glass in architecture, here are two photos of the Supreme Court buildings in Warsaw, which don’t do the buildings any justice. I’ve loved these buildings since I first saw them years ago and was excited to come back and photograph them; and yet, when I got there, I was in such a haze that I didn’t concentrate properly and barely took any reasonable shots (by barely I mean the two you see here). Does this happen to anyone else? Do you ever have a location picked out but when you get there, you can’t make the photographs you hoped for happen?

The use of glass in this project is not boring at all given the shape of the buildings–I love how one of the wings spans across the street–and the contrast with the copper pillars as well as the baroque Krasiński Palace across the street. I imagine the glass is meant to connote the transparency that should be present in the justice system, and the pillars are covered in legal maxims written in Latin and Polish. The project is by architect Marek Budzyński, and the cariatyds (not pictured here due to aforementioned location shoot issues), are supposedly in the image of his wife and daughters and represent the virtues of faith, hope and love. I challenge any ol’ glass condo or office tower to aspire to such meaningfulness!

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