Villa, Szczecin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The wooden villa remains a relic of the times of the Fortress of Szczecin - a period during which no structures made of durable materials were allowed to be constructed in the immediate vicinity of the fortifications protecting the city. The house also remains one of the few Swiss-style wooden buildings in Szczecin and is one of the oldest villas in the Westend district.

History

The villa, located at 2 A. Mickiewicza street, was one of the first to be erected in the Westend district - a suburban area established in the early 1870s. It was built in 1873 by the company known as Westend Settin Bauverein auf Aktien for August Horn, who was one of the company founders and main shareholders. No information is available on the architect who produced the design for the house. The villa was originally accompanied by the stable and the now-vanished gazebo. In 1900, the erstwhile owner of the house, Carl Schels, had a flush toilet installed inside the building. However, Schels went bankrupt shortly afterwards, and the house was auctioned, its ultimate purchaser being N. Rabbow, a physician, who in turn sold the house to J. Bundfuss, the director of a company known as C. W. Kemp Nachfolger A. G. (“C. W. Kemp’s Successors - a joint-stock company”). The new owner ordered renovation works to be carried out, with repairs being made to the outbuilding roof truss; a garage was also added during that period. In 1935, the original wooden stairs leading to the entrance were replaced with concrete ones; in addition, a concrete perimeter wall was erected alongside the Bolesława Śmiałego street. In 1945, the building was nationalised. It was first used as living quarters for various individuals and then as a café named “Sorrento”, known among other things for the jazz concerts which would often take place there. Later on, the house became an office building of the PSS “Społem” cooperative, while in 1987 it was acquired by the University of Szczecin, the authorities of which contemplated the adaptation of the villa to serve as the Institute of Southern Studies. In 1993, the design for the restoration of the house was finally produced, its authors being D. Szumińska and J. Nekanda-Trepka; the design called for the silhouette and façade décor of the house to be preserved, while its interiors would be replaced by a new, masonry structure. The works were completed during the mid-1990s. Today, the house remains private property.

Description

The villa is situated in the Łękno district of Szczecin; at the time when the house was built, the district in question was known as Westend and was still a purely suburban area. The house itself is located on the south-western side of A. Mickiewicza street, between the corner of Bolesława Śmiałego street and the Wojska Polskiego avenue - the main road in this area of the city, leading towards the north-west. The front façade of the villa faces the north-east. Another wooden villa from the Westend era, dating back to 1872, survives on the neighbouring plot of land situated south-west of the house, its current address being 70 Wojska Polskiego avenue.

The building was erected on a roughly rectangular floor plan, with relatively short sides; a single avant-corps projects from the middle of each of the longer façades of the house. The middle section of the house, with its projecting pair of avant-corps, is a two-storey structure, flanked by two single-storey side sections, both of which also have an attic level; in addition, the house also features a basement. Single-storey verandahs flank the front avant-corps from both sides. The entire house is covered with low gable roofs - the transverse roof above the slightly taller middle section and the longitudinal roofs above the side sections. The villa was originally a half-timbered structure with brick infills, its timber frame concealed beneath a weatherboard cladding on the outside and a plaster finish on the inside. Today, however, all that is left of the original is its outer shell, for inside the house lurks a modern structure made of brick and reinforced concrete, constructed in the 1990s. The roofs are covered with roofing felt.

The wooden post-and-beam structure is clad with weatherboards covered with a layer of oil paint. The façade detailing was cast in plaster. The asymmetrical façades are divided by a number of cornices, one of them running just above the brick wall base, the others positioned at the window sill level. On the ground floor section, the window surrounds take the form of an aedicula with Corinthian pilasters supporting the entablature with an architrave and cornice. The window sills are accentuated by decorative supports. The first-floor windows are framed with plain surrounds. The southern section of the front façade takes the form of an avant-corps crowned with a low gable adorned with fretwork decorations positioned below the eaves. The corner of the front façade is accentuated by a pair of windows framed with a bipartite aedicula projecting slightly ahead of the wall. The tower projecting ahead of the rear façade features a wraparound balcony positioned at the second-floor level, featuring a wooden openwork balustrade complemented by fretwork decorations positioned between the arches and supports. The entrance into the building, accessible by means of an external flight of steps and located inside a single-storey porch, is positioned in the south-eastern, windowless side façade. A pair of gypsum tondi incorporating the images of Ceres and Mercury in bas-relief can be found on the first-floor level of this façade. The interior follows a three-bay layout, with the staircase positioned inside a triangular hall.

The building may be explored upon prior arrangement with its residents.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 15-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Jarzemska E., Makowska B., Ostatnie drewniane domy Szczecina, “Monumet - studia i materiały KOBiDZ’, 2(2005), pp. 203-205
  • Słomiński M., Szczecińskie wille, “Kronika Szczecina” 1996, p.
  • Historical monument record sheet, compiled by R. Makała, 1988, typescript available at the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Szczecin

General information

  • Type: villa
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Adama Mickiewicza 2, Szczecin
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district Szczecin, commune Szczecin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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