Date: 26.10, Thursday, 16.00

Tour leader: arch. Zbigniew Maćków

Paradoxically, the crucial decision determining the shape of this building concerned an area situated several hundred metres further. The function of a spot that for years had been earmarked for a gigantic and withdrawn shopping centre was changed for residential purposes. This triggered a snowball effect and translated into a number of changes to the complicated geometry of streets in this narrow stretch of the island of Kępa Mieszczańska. A new urban plan emerged from a mesh of 19th-century residential quarters – a triangular inner city that offered a radically new spatial quality, capable of creating the desired effect of urban vitality. Our task was to close the main frontage of the new square, which became the starting point for considerations about the form of the building.

In this situation we decided to make an uncompromising gesture and enclose the quarter in order to create a new stage for urban activity. The characteristic form of the building resists the temptation to fall in line with the pulsating cornices. Moreover, it has been dramatically cut in half because we were looking for the proper distribution of mass in such an exposed site. The homogenous façade, perforated by the alternating French windows and loggias with black-lined interiors, was enclosed with a light openwork crowning of the pergolas on the roof. The building has six storeys, in which 70 flats of different surfaces (from 32 to 200 m2) were arranged in two blocks. The flats have above-average standard (in comparison with the local conditions) – three meters high, with ample provision of daylight thanks to the French windows, balconies, loggias or terraces. The flats on the top floor overlooking Księcia Witolda Street have private terraces, while a communal terrace overlooking the river and the panorama of the city is located from the side of Zyndrama z Maszkowic Street. The withdrawn ground floor with service outlets will perform the city-forming functions, which are so desired.

While walking across the urban square teeming with activity into an elegant hall lined with warm wood, which creates the right atmosphere for meetings of neighbours, it is hard to imagine that barely ten years ago there were just three buildings in this quarter.

Photograph: Maciej Lulko