Wojciech Leśnikowski

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Wojciech Grzegorz Leśnikowski (May 9, 1938 – April 17, 2014), was a Polish–American architect, writer and educator. He oversaw and participated in the design and construction of numerous large-scale architectural projects around the world.[1]

Wojciech Leśnikowski
Wojciech Leśnikowski byVetulani.JPG
Leśnikowski in 2013, giving a speech during Krakow Laurel Award ceremony
Wojciech Grzegorz Leśnikowski

(1938-05-09)May 9, 1938
Lublin, Poland
DiedApril 17, 2014(2014-04-17) (aged 75)
NationalityPolish American
Alma materCracow University of Technology
AwardsOrdre des Arts et des Lettres (1990), Krakow Laurel Award (2013)


Wojciech G. Lesnikowski passed the maturity exam in 1955, in the I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Mikołaja Kopernika in Bielsko-Biała(www.kopernik.bielsko.pl). Lesnikowski received his Masters of Architecture and Urban Planning from the Cracow University of Technology, School of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1961. He worked in Krakow, Poland, for a few years, then in 1964 he left for Paris for an internship with the famed architect Le Corbusier. He worked for Pierre Vago and Jean Renaudie, as well as Le Corbusier, while in Paris. He began teaching at the L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1967. He went to America in 1969, worked as an architect in Chicago and continued to teach at numerous prestigious institutions. He was a chief architect at HNTB, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, and HOK Corporation. He served as the lead designer of a hospital and a skyscraper – the iconic red CNA Center.

He became a distinguished professor at The University of Kansas in 1988. In 1990, he became a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. In 2013 he became the eighth person to receive a Laurel Award from Krakow, Poland. He has created numerous architectural projects such as housing estates, public buildings, airports, hospitals and skyscrapers in Poland, France, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and Italy.



  • 1982: Romanticism and Rationalism in Architecture
  • 1990: The New French Architecture
  • 1993: Many Faces of German Modernism
  • 1994: Modernism in Czechoslovakian, Hungarian and Polish Architecture 1919–39
  • 1994: Architecture of Germany between Two World Wars
  • Numerous articles published in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Poland


Architectural philosophy[edit]

Teaching and research interests[2]
  • Architectural design: large-scale buildings, current high-tech, future technologies, experimental architecture
  • Architectural history theories
  • Aesthetics of modern architecture
  • Architecture as industrial art
  • Corporate practice in contemporary architecture
Areas of expertise[2]
  • Advanced architectural design – large-scale buildings, cutting-edge technologies
  • Architectural history and theories of architecture
  • Architectural publications
  • European current architecture and practice
  • International airport and skyscraper design

Personal life[edit]


Wojciech Lesnikowski was the son of Roman and Irena, born in 1938, one year before the German invasion of Poland. In pre-World War II Poland, his father was a soldier, a lawyer and a politician. His mother was Jewish, so when the Nazis arrived, his father hid the family on the rural property of one of his business clients. His father fought on the side of the Soviet Union later in the war, and was sent to Krakow as a government administrator after it was over. In 1948, when rulers found out about his father's anti-communist sympathies, the authorities came to the Lesnikowski home on Wojciech's 10th birthday. He did not see his father again until 1953, when he was released from a Soviet Gulag following the death of Joseph Stalin.[3] His parents survived the war, but many of his family members did not. Wojciech married a fellow architect and educator Rebecca James in 1987. On July 22, 1995, he became a single parent to his two young daughters, when his wife died in a horse-riding accident in Poland.[4] He later married Julie Lesnikowski, owner of Jordan Ross Designs in Lawrence, Kansas.


Lesnikowski continued to teach at the University of Kansas through a year-long battle with brain cancer. He died suddenly on the morning of April 17, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.[1]



  • Airport, Krakow
  • Airport, Warsaw
  • Airport, Warsaw
  • Cathedral, Warsaw
  • Government Center, Taiwan
  • Hospital, Chicago
  • Library, Osaka, Japan
  • Museum of Aviation, Krakow
  • Office Complex, Taiwan
  • Office Building, Chicago
  • Office Building, Chicago
  • Opera House, St. Louis
  • Skyscraper, Hong Kong
  • Skyscraper, New York
  • Technology Center, Shanghai, China
  • Skyscraper, Warsaw, Poland
  • Terminal for Modlin Airport, Poland
  • Terminal for KC Airport, Missouri
  • Terminal for Katowice Airport, Poland
  • Concert Hall for Kansas City, Missouri
  • Terminal for Krakow Airport, Poland
  • Terminal for Kansas City Airport, Missouri
  • New Crystalline Generic Terminal

Further reading[edit]

  • Wojciech Lesnikowski – architect, citizen of the world, Jan Kurek, Politechnika Krakowska im. Tadeusza Kościuszki, 2012 ISBN 8372426643, 9788372426642


  1. ^ a b "School mourns the passing of Distinguished Professor Wojciech Lesnikowski". The University of Kansas: School of Architecture, Design & Planning. April 18, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Architecture Faculty – Wojciech Lesnikowski". The University of Kansas: School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "For KU architecture professor, prestigious Polish award is more than a solo honor". LJWorld.com. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "Rebecca James Lesnikowski". LJWorld.com. Retrieved April 20, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Who's Who in Polish America, 1st edition, 1996–1997, New York, Bicentennial Publishing Corp., 1996, ISBN 978-0-7818-0520-9

External links[edit]