I remember reading three months ago about Stefan Kurylowicz, one of the best Polish architects.
Aged 62, full of energy, passionate, active, a runner (for the last 30 years he had followed a routine of running a distance of 12 kilometers in about an hour) , airplane pilot, skier, one of the most influential Polish architects and leaders. Able to openly communicate even the most controversial ideas and see them from a global perspective, like the transformation of a city structure. Professor at Warsaw University of Technology, but most importantly- an active builder, someone who helped shape the modern Warsaw.
More than 20 active projects, in Poland, Europe. A truly magnificent personality. The only European architect invited to oversee renovations on the United Nations headquarters in New York.
He built a few really stunning buildings and a few brutal and just wrong ones… but still close to perfection from the engineering point of view. Technologically brilliant, full of light, and light like a cloud on the sky, immaterial yet strong and logical. I was stunned, I felt that I would like to meet that person, and learn from him, become friends. I felt that he achieved personal freedom. To be and become who you want, without any restrictions.
Natural admiration for this beautiful person was obvious. Taking what he wanted, without fear, flying above the heads of those full of doubts that slow them down, seeking pleasure and harmony. He became one of my imaginary mentors.
I really wanted to get to know him, to have a chat about his way of thinking. I felt.. Alright, there was still time for me to prepare, as I felt inadequate, not perfect, building my ideas. I thought so. There was still time to take action…
Two months later, I picked up a newspaper.
there was his photo and an article again. But this time it said:
“June 6, 2011.
Stefan Kurylowicz died in a small plane crash in Asturias, Spain.”