The heart of Kazimierz. Brimming with art galleries, boutiques, and bars. We’re on a colorful Józefa street, our attention instantly grabbed by a well-designed gem of an interior: behind a massive dark charcoal gray door and a large window with original details, discreetly illuminated stones, glass, and precious metals glow against a supple, velvety background. We go in.
The tiny interior looks like a stage design for an outstanding theater play. Gray walls, effortlessly merging with soft curtains, couldn’t be more flattering to forms and colors on display. Carefully selected, they represent Polish design at its best. We’re in PUNCA–a boutique run by a couple of architects–Ewelina Polak and Michał Gluszak–who’ve decided to settle in the touristy heart of the city to promote Polish design born out of passion for craft.
We’ve been working together for years and I know we share a certain sensibility that doesn’t change with the times or follow well-worn formulas. Cubical, conceptualized forms bore us. We’re frustrated that kitsch and ugliness still sells relatively well in Poland; that there are few places that promote Polish design. We’re drowning in the sea of schlock that falls apart in our hands. Where is our Polish craftsmanship? Is the reality as hopeless as it seems? The answer is: it is not! All we have to do is find and promote Polish design gems. We’ve made it our personal mission.
So, what have the duo managed to find and what can we find at PUNCA? Jewelry by talented Polish designers: Daria Siwak, Aleksandra Przybysz / ALE.Concept, 10 decoart; pottery from Poland’s best factories: Bolesławiec, Kristoff, Marek Cecuła-Ćmielów Design Studio; elegant crystal glass from the “Julia” Crystal Glass Factory; and breathtakingly beautiful silk neckerchiefs and pocket squares displayed on the walls as if they were pieces of art. Apart from that, PUNCA designs and makes its own furniture whose forms and details are to die for! An emerald chest of drawers, for example, looks like a polished gemstone in brass: a piece of interior jewelry meets a practical and spacious piece of furniture. What’s more, designers–in cooperation with local artisans–create original tableware made of high-quality textiles and always with the closest attention to detail. Each of these unique products embodies the magic of craftsmanship.
What also stole our hearts on our visit to PUNCA was the atmosphere of the place. In winter, fireplace fills the space with warmth and the delicate smell of spruce and smoke. A teapot constantly sits by the flame, so that anyone who enters no longer feels cold. During schorching summer days, centuries-old walls and ceramic flooring bring relief.
You’re welcome to open the door to this enchanting world.
Kazimierz district Józefa street 3
Monday - Saturday 11:00-19:00
Sunday 11:00-16:00 - only in December
We will be working as ambassadors of Polish design for as long as we possibly can!