The villa of Leopold Kindermann, currently a branch of the Municipal Gallery of Art – The Villa Gallery, Łódź
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The villa of Leopold Kindermann, currently a branch of the Municipal Gallery of Art – The Villa Gallery

Łódź

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The villa is one of the examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the city, with preserved original elements of plasterwork detail, with lavish foliage decoration in outside and inside. The interior is also distinguished by two stained glass windows, hall with a wooden staircase, original fittings of the study room, and stucco decoration in four rooms.

History

The building was constructed in the years 1902-1903 according to a design of a well-known architect from Łódź, Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger. It belonged to Laura née Feder and Leopold Kindermann. The villa was erected by the street, on a plot included to the Laura's dowry. It was built over a short time and fitted in a uniform style corresponding to the material status of the owners.

In 1945, the building was nationalised, and in the early 70s of the previous century, it was handed over to the Office of Artistic Exhibitions. In that time, the first general renovation of the building was carried out. In 2011, the second throughout renovation was started on the basis of extensive archival and conservation research. The works were completed in 2013.

Description

The building is located in the district Łódź-Polesie, in the western frontage of Wólczańska Street. The villa is built on a polygonal floor plan and adjoins a neighbouring building from the north. The main entrance, accentuated by a distinctive portico supported on piers shaped as apple tree trunks, is located on the southern side. A variegated body of the two-storey building with basement and loft is covered with high roofs: tented roof in the central part, half-hip and gable roofs, and the tower located on the western side is topped with a conical roof. The ground floor section is accentuated by a rusticated plinth, and the walls of the upper storeys are plastered with a horizontal, gentle groove pattern characteristic of Art Nouveau. Window openings of various sizes and shapes are decorated with profiled surrounds, columns, and stucco detail shaped as tree trunks, leaves, birds, and small animals. The most distinctive of them is a semi-circularly arched window of the drawing room on the south, flanked by oak trunks, branches, and leaves from both sides. In the tangle of the tree crowns there are hidden birds, and in the lower section, among the roots, a fox can be seen. From the west, an element of variation to the body is introduced by a tower housing a side staircase. In one of its corners, on the ground floor level, there is a figure of dwarf. The courtyard of the villa, from the side of the street, is surrounded by a decorative fencing comprised of foundation, brick pillars, gate with a semi-circular top section, and cast metal gate spans and leaves with Art Nouveau foliage motifs.

The famous interior of the villa is decorated in a lavish, uniform manner. The main hall features a distinctive, wooden staircase, with a platform and a gallery, and a large stained glass window on the first floor with an allegorical female figure surrounded by geometric motifs, with flowers on the sides and small pictures in the lower section. A colourful stained glass window with a blue maritime landscape can be found in the drawing room on the first floor. Extraordinary stucco decoration with plant motifs, as well as the fittings of the studio room located on the south-western side, are worth particular attention. The walls are covered with lavishly decorated wood panelling with built-in wardrobes. The entire décor is complemented by a marble fireplace which underscores the spectacular character of the interior.

The "Villa" Gallery is a site frequented by the citizens of Łódź and tourists as a place known not only for interesting exhibition and art events, but also because of the original and uniform decoration and fittings of the building.

The building is open to visitors.

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
  • Karnicka Z., Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Budownictwa, Willa Leopolda Kindermana, luty 1990.
  • Paszyn I., Łódzka willa fabrykancka, Kwartalnik Architektury i Urbanistyki, t. XXIX, 1984, z. 1-2
  • 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, s. 141
  • Stefański K., Łódzkie wille fabrykanckie, Łódź 2013, s. 326-331.
  • Strzałkowski J., Architekci i budowniczowie w Łodzi do r. 1944, Łódź 1997
  • Urbaniak A., Śladami starej Łodzi, t. I, Łódź 1988, t. II, Łódź 1993

General information

  • Type: villa
  • Chronology: XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wólczańska 31/33, Łódź
  • Location: Voivodeship łódzkie, district Łódź, commune Łódź
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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