The former House of the Polish United Workers’ Party, currently under the administration of the Białystok University, Białystok
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The former House of the Polish United Workers’ Party, currently under the administration of the Białystok University

Białystok

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A building featuring an interesting silhouette and presenting a significant artistic value, its design containing numerous nods towards pre-war modernist architecture. The building is also significant from a historical standpoint, having been designed by Stanisław Bukowski, an architect who contributed, among others, towards the reconstruction of the Branicki family palace as well as towards the overall concept of post-war reconstruction of the Białystok city centre.

History

The building was erected in the years 1951-1952, based on the design produced by the architect Stanisław Bukowski; initially, the edifice was intended to serve as the building of the Province Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR). The building formed part of an urban complex known as the Parade Avenue. Following the dissolution of the Polish United Workers’ Party in 1990, the edifice was taken over by the Białystok Branch of the University of Warsaw. In 1991, the building was restored and adapted to its new function, while in 1998 the main entrance and the terrace with a stairway were added. From 1997 onwards, the building has served the University of Białystok.

Description

The building is situated in the city centre, along the junction of the Kalinowskiego and Liniarskiego streets, by the University Square, with the former Parade Avenue (currently known as the M. Skłodowskiej - Curie street) positioned on the axis of the edifice. The building was designed as a modernist structure with Classical influences - a combination typical for the early phase of Socialist Realist architecture.

It is a three-storey building with an attic, featuring a basement underneath parts of its structure. It was designed on an axial plan, its shape approximating that of a semicircle. The main body of the building, designed on a rectangular floor plan, projects beyond the general outline of the structure in a manner akin to an avant-corps; the wings, designed on an elongated rectangular plan, are connected to the main body by connecting structures, each of them built on a floor plan shaped as a section of a circle. The building is a brick structure with a ventilated flat ceiling clad with roofing felt. All façades of the building feature sandstone cladding, with rustication at the ground-floor level, while the upper storeys feature fluted pilasters between the rectangular windows. The corners of the avant-corps projecting out of the wings of the building are adorned with paired pilasters of the same type. A string course runs across the façades above the ground-floor level; the pronounced crowning cornice is preceded by a dentilled frieze, with a solid roof parapet rising directly above. Parts of the roof parapet above the central avant-corps are openwork structures resembling a balustrade. The front façade of the main body of the building follows a seven-axial layout, with rectangular doorways positioned on the 4th, 5ht and 6th axis of the ground floor level and complemented by rectangular windows on the remaining axes of the façade. The rusticated ground-floor level serves as a base for the colonnaded portico projecting ahead of the 2nd and 3rd storeys and featuring four pairs of columns in total. The design of the columns themselves is reminiscent of the Doric style. The connecting sections between the main body and the side wings follow a four-axial layout, with French windows on the first-floor level. The wing positioned alongside Liniarskiego street features a tall, rusticated socle, its walls pierced by a series of windows; a cornice running across the façade separates the ground floor section from the upper storeys. Both windows feature short, two-axial avant-corps at the edges, with French windows at the first-floor level. The remaining façades are designed in a similar fashion. A modern building adjoins the side façade positioned along Liniarskiego street. The interior décor was likewise designed in the Socialist Realist style, with most of the original interior having been preserved intact.

The building is open to visitors.

compiled by Grażyna Rogala, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 10-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Historia Białegostoku, A. Dobroński (ed.), Białystok 2012, p. 474, fig. pp. 475, 477
  • Wicher S., Żyć architekturą, Białystok 2009, pp. 109-110.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1951-1952
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Białystok
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district Białystok, commune Białystok
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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