Former White-Collar Employees’ Insurance Institution, Gdynia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Former White-Collar Employees’ Insurance Institution

Gdynia

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It is one of the symbols of modernist architecture in Gdynia. The building was designed in the style of expressive functionalism.

History

Designed by Roman Piotrowski, architect from Warsaw, in 1934, the office and service building of the White-Collar Employees’ Insurance Institution in Poznań (later ZUS — Social Insurance Institution) was built in 1935-1936. Since 1951, the building was used as the head office of the Polish Ocean Lines. The ground floor housed shops and “Cafe Bałtyk” which was one of the most famous cafés of that period in Gdynia.

Description

The prestigious investment project of the insurance institution was located in corner of the quarter of the new urban tissue in the immediate vicinity of a railway station, near the main artery of the city leading to Kościuszko Square and Southern Pier. It is one of the most distinctive modernist buildings in Gdynia.. Due to the scale of the buildings and arrangement of the bodies of different heights and the exposed rounded part, the structure is associated with a ship, which is characteristic of modernist architecture in Gdynia. The building was exposed in the corner plot and is the dominant feature among the building of both streets. The cylindrical corner was incorporated in the corner of the intersection of 10-ego Lutego Street with 3-go Maja Street. The L-shaped building consists of two dynamically juxtaposed bodies: higher one having the shape of a standing cuboid and rectangle and lower elongated part terminating in a cylindrical corner projecting towards the front beyond the line of the buildings from the side of 3-go Maja Street. The lower part of the building has five storeys, and the taller part — seven storeys. The composition is also complemented by a cylindrically terminated part of the building added to the taller rectangular body from the side of 3-go Maja Street. Wide strips of glass windows extending longitudinally in an alternating pattern with smooth bright façade evoke admiration. The ground floor was covered with slabs of black granite, whereas the upper storeys were covered with slabs of light sandstone, which visually separated the building from the artery along which it is situated. The build was designed and formally linked with the neighbouring residential building (in 22/24 3-go Maja Street).

The structure is open to visitors all year round. Viewing of the building is possible during opening hours on working days.

compiled by Dorota Hryszkiewicz-Kahlau, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 30-06-2014.

Bibliography

  • Sołtysik M.J., Gdynia miasto dwudziestolecia międzywojennego, urbanistyka i architektura, Warszawa 1993;
  • Sołtysik M.J., Na styku dwóch epok. Architektura gdyńskich kamienic okresu międzywojennego, Gdynia 2003, s. 329-333;
  • Sołtysik M.J., Modernistyczna Gdynia - dziedzictwo lat międzywojennych, [w:] Renowacje i zabytki 2010, nr 4 (36), s.60-73;
  • http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architektura_Gdyni
  • http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budynek_biurowy_ZUS_w_Gdyni

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: 10 Lutego 24, Gdynia
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdynia, commune Gdynia
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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