Supersam Figurine / Magdalena Łapińska / illustarted by Jan Bajtlik

This porcelain figurine presents the Supersam building, a modernist trade hall built in Warsaw in 1962 and torn down in 2006. It was the first large, self-serve supermarket in Poland. Supersam became an icon of innovative, modern Polish post-war architecture, and its demolishment triggered a debate concerning the preservation of Polish heritage from the communist era.

During her studies in the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Magdalena Łapińska created the project "Dreaming of Warsaw" – a series of five miniature models of modernist buildings from communist times. They were made of thick, white porcelain, the kind used in communist Poland in the production of mugs and plates for diners and school cafeterias. The series arose not only from nostalgic reminiscences of childhood, but also, as the designer explains, as a means of preserving the memory of socio-modernist buildings which are disappearing from the landscapes of Polish cities. Two of these models are now only souvenirs of the past – the Skarpa Cinema and the Supersam building no longer exist. And soon the Sezam building will disappear too. They are all being replaced with contemporary buildings.