Multi-Family House, Gdynia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The building is characterised by the original modernist architecture of the thirties and modern reinforced concrete structure with brick infills. The simple body features distinctive narrow vertical lesenes and wave-shaped balconies overlooking Żwirki i Wigury Street.

History

The building was built for Zakłady przemysłowe M. Krenski (industrial company). It was designed by Z. Kupiec and T. Kossak, architects from Gdańsk. The construction work was led by Zbigniew Kupiec, who cooperated with Jan Czajka, master-mason and carpenter. The finishing works on the building were interrupted by World War 2 and were completed only after 1945 (plastering of the façades, finishing of the ground floor, and installation of lifts).

Description

The building is situated in a prominent corner among the densely built-up area of the frontages of two main streets of Gdynia: Świętojańska Street (west façade) and Żwirki and Wigury Street (south façade). The tenement was erected on a rectangular floor plan and features a gateway on the ground floor level. The structure combines moderate modernism with late functionalism. It consists of three elements: six-storey main core at the corner and two five-storey side wings. The corner part of the building which is higher by one storey accentuates the quarter, and the lower side fragments connect the building to the neighbouring structures. A glazed staircase faces the yard. The façades of the corner part are designed in an analogical way. Both have four axes, with individual axes separated from each other with narrow lines of piers between the windows overlapping vertically on the horizontal strip-like arrangement of windows. The connector between the body and the wing facing Żwirki i Wigury Street features “waving” balconies full of movement and chiaroscuro, which further on pass into windows arranged in a ribbon-like pattern. The ground floor is a commercial space and was deliberately glazed so as to expose the post-and-beam structure. The building had a central heating, gas, and water and sewerage system. Originally, it was to be entirely encased in slabs of sandstone extracted in Szydłowiec but, unfortunately, due to the outbreak of the war, the unfinished works were never resumed, and after the war part of the sandstone coverings were removed and replaced with ordinary plaster. The apartments were fitted with luxurious furnishings. The first and second storeys contained apartments with a floor area of 200 m2. In addition to well-appointed bathrooms (e.g., bidet), the apartments were fitted with oak parquet, terracotta; the walls of the kitchens and bathrooms were covered with tiling. It was the first building in Gdynia to have composite (or Swedish) window joinery as early as before the war. Composite windows are double-framed windows, in which the two frames are connected by special screws or clamps and open to the inside.

The structure can be viewed from the outside. The commercial ground floor is open to the public.

compiled by Dorota Hryszkiewicz-Kahlau, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 01-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Sołtysik M., Modernistyczna Gdynia-dziedzictwo lat międzywojennych [w:] Renowacje i zabytki 2010, nr 4 (36), s.61-73
  • Sołtysik M.J., Gdynia miasto dwudziestolecia międzywojennego, urbanistyka i architektura, Warszawa 1993;
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków, Dom mieszkalny wielorodzinny, Gdynia, ul. Świętojańska 55, T. Kiernicki, M. WIelebski1982;
  • http://pomorskie.travel/Odkrywaj-Dziedzictwo_kulturowe-Zabytki_architektury-Domy_i_Kamienice/4801/Kamienica_firmy_Krenski
  • http://www.gdynia.pl/wszystko/o/gdyni/historia/5637_37.html

General information

  • Type: residential building
  • Chronology: koniec lat 30. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Świętojańska 55, Gdynia
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdynia, commune Gdynia
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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