The Villa of Józef Richter, currently used for administration and office purposes, property of the Łódź University of Technology, Łódź
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The Villa of Józef Richter, currently used for administration and office purposes, property of the Łódź University of Technology

Łódź

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The building, which is located in a park, has retained its original external appearance and, in a large part, also the original interior fittings. Simple and elegant façade décor and interior elements, made on the basis of designs of renowned artists and with the use of high-quality materials, constitute an example of a municipal factory’s owner villa from the end of the 19th century. The following elements of interior fittings have been preserved: door and window joinery, floors, stairs, wood panelling, built-in wardrobes, and mirrors. Also stucco decoration and woodcarving decoration elements are worth attention. On the outside, apart from stucco decorations, grids in windows of look-out basements and some ground floor windows have been preserved, as well as decorative lamps-lanterns by the main entrance.

History

A copy of the design stored in the archives originates from 1898 and is signed by Piotr Brukalski. However, the villa was designed by an architect from Vienna, Karl Seidl, known in Łódź from works for the Kindermann family (palaces at 139 and 151 Piotrkowska Street). The building came into being in the years 1898-1899 and, after death of its owner, it was used as a residence of an industrialist. From 1898, the villa was rented to the voivode of Łódź, Aleksander Hauke-Nowak. In 1936, the residence was sold by the inheritors of J. Richter to the Biedermann family and as of the end of the World War II, it was their residence. After the war, in 1945, the building became State Treasure’s property and was provided for use to the Polish Scouting Association and the Polish Youth Association. Later on, it was used as a Public Orphanage. From 1976, it was transformed into the Wedding Palace for the district Łódź-Polesie, and from 1993 - it was handed over to the Technical University of Łódź.

The first significant conservation and adaptation works were carried out in years 1996-1998, and further works - in 2003.

Description

The two-storey villa is located in the southern part of the centre of Łódź, in the southern frontage of Skorupki Street, set slightly away from it. From the east, it neighbours the magnificent villa of Reinhold Richter (brother of Józef). Both villas are surrounded by the Bishop Klepacz Park. The residence was built on a rectangular, almost square floor plan, with avant-corps in the axes of the façade. The building has basements and a high, habitable attic. Its body is covered with a flattened hip roof laid with ceramic roof tiles. The main entrance is located on the north. The regular body of the building rests on a high, rusticated plinth. Rectangular rustication also marks its corners. Above the plinth, there are gentle, shallow grooves in the walls. All façades are characterised by symmetry, simplicity and elegance of detail whose decorative motifs were inspired - in the most part - by the early and mature Italian Renaissance. The decorations are complemented by neo-Romanesque art elements. The semi-circular arch window openings of the first storey are flanked by slender little columns. The whole set is outlined by interlaced, subtle surrounds. Semi-circular top sections and supporting columns were used also in the southern loggia and in the western terrace. Windows of the attic are circular and surrounded by narrow interlace motifs. Square windows of the look-out basements are located in the section of the rusticated plinth of the building.

The villa’s interior feature a three-bay layout, with a spacious hall in the central part which can be accessed by stairs from the west. Decorative motifs used in the interior décor, similarly as outside, are reminiscent of Italian Renaissance. Inside, decoration is complemented by neo-Baroque and neo-Rococo elements. The walls of the main hall are covered by oak wood panelling. The ceiling is finished with deep coffers with profiled edges. Also the fireplace with atlantes and stairs are finished with oak wood. The dining room’s décor with wood panelling and built-in tableware cupboards and marble fireplace and lavabeau is worth particular attention. Stone elements are complemented by copies of sculptures: the classical Discobolus and David by Donatello, made in the workshop of a renown stonemason artist from Łódź, Antoni Urbanowski. Wall decoration over the wood panelling is complemented by rectangular fields finished with fabric with landscapes, and overdoors are finished with still nature images. From the west, the dining room is separated from the drawing room with a sliding door, decorated with Rococo motifs - in ceiling plasterwork and the marble fireplace. In the north-eastern drawing room, Neoclassical elements were used, where a marble fireplace with high mirror and ceiling plasterwork, consistent in style with the former, draw attention. The ceiling of the first storey’s hall is partitioned transversely with massive beams supported on columns.

Other side rooms do not feature any particular décor.

The building is open to visitors, after upon arrangement of the visit date in the dean’s office of the Technical University of Łódź.

compiled by Patrycja Podgarbi, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Łódź, 25-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bandurka M., Rosin R., Łódź 1423-1823-1973. Zarys dziejów i wybór dokumentów, Łódź 1974
  • Kajzer E., Willa Józefa Richtera w Łodzi, ul. Worcella 10/12, Dokumentacja naukowo- historyczna wyk. W PP PKZ o/Kielce, T.1-3, Łódź 1975, sygn. H/5, maszynopis przechowywany w NID OT w Łodzi
  • Kondek W., Łódzkie pałace, Łódź 1973
  • Stefański K., Jak zbudowano przemysłową Łódź. Architektura i urbanistyka miasta w l. 1821-1914, Łódź 2001
  • Stefański K., Atlas architektury dawnej Łodzi do 1939 r., Łódź 2008.
  • Stefański K., Łódzkie wille fabrykanckie, Łódź 2013, s. 278-281.
  • Strzałkowski J., Architekci i budowniczowie w Łodzi do r. 1944, Łódź 1997
  • Szelągowska E,, Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Budownictwa, Willa przemysłowca, czerwiec 1990.
  • Urbaniak A., Śladami starej Łodzi, t. I, Łódź 1988, t. II, Łódź 1993

General information

  • Type: villa
  • Chronology: schyłek XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Skorupki 10/12, Łódź
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district Łódź, commune Łódź
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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