Szymon Ruszczewski

School of Architecture

PhD Research Student

Szymon Ruszczewski

Full contact details

Szymon Ruszczewski
School of Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

My research interests include history of modern architecture and its application in today’s practice and heritage conservation. Through my PhD research, I concentrate on conservation of tangible and intangible modern architecture heritage, including its impact on the practice. I have been working with the Alvar Aalto Foundation in Helsinki and leading research reflections on the importance of architectural history in the field of heritage, including conservation plans and the upcoming UNESCO nomination of Alvar Aalto’s architecture. I am a practicing architect, co-founder of a new practice based in Florence, Italy, with a number of recognitions in competitions in Italy, Israel, Poland, and Ukraine. Recognised AFHEA, I have been teaching architecture in Florence in Sheffield in the fields of Humanities and Design Studios, coving both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught courses.

Research interests

Project title: 
Finding Sołtan – re-defining heritages and legacies of modernist architecture

Project outline:
The research aims to rebuild the connection between modernist architecture and the present-day reality and practice. Through the complex case study of design, teaching, and theory of Polish architect Jerzy Sołtan, it questions the canonical vision of modern architecture. His rich experiences of design in Poland and in the United States, his work for and close relationship with Le Corbusier, and his didactic work including two decades spent at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, teaching such architects as Michael Graves and Charles Gwathmey, points to a significant role in the spread of modernist ideas throughout the second half of the twentieth century. The project undertakes a synthesis of information coming from both official archival records, researching also unpublished documents, and of the unofficial and untold histories coming from Jerzy Sołtan’s former colleagues, students, and coworkers gathered through a series of oral histories. Through this approach, the research illustrates the importance of modernist architecture as a “living heritage”, tightly connected to the problems of the present-day world, recognising similar issues, and proposing relevant solutions. It reads modern architecture as a resource, necessary for the development of the present-day practice, needing recognition as legacy to be protected.

Emma Cheatle

Project started: 01/10/2018

Research group

Space, cultures and politics