Date: 22.10, Sunday, 10.15

Place: H.Sienkiewicza St.

Tour leader: arch. Marcin Dziewoński

The shape of the building complex was determined by the beautiful and highly valuable old trees existing in the plot. When beginning the design process we had no doubts that the most precious trees had to be preserved. Although it made the functional and compositional arrangement of the complex more challenging, it resulted in flats that can be rarely found in inner cities, with balconies situated almost within a hand’s reach of a beautiful plane tree. Of course, this solution has advantages and disadvantages, but we hoped to find customers who would appreciate the uniqueness of the location, the view from the window and the proximity of greenery.

Around the tree we managed to design a public, freely accessible square with greenery, benches and local service outlets. The plane tree was provided with discrete illumination by night.

Apart from the plane, two other exceptional trees have been preserved – a mighty Hungarian oak, one of the largest in Lower Silesia, with circumference of over 5.5 metres (unfortunately, its health is ailing), and a beautiful English oak, more than 20 meters high.

All these trees probably remember the time when they grew in the garden of Julius Monhaupt, a well-known gardener from Wrocław. Monhaupt’s house was converted to serve as the seat of a Masonic lodge. The lodge’s cornerstone with Masonic symbols was discovered during excavation work and will be exhibited in the square under the plane tree. The building, which was used as the SS headquarters during the war, was completely destroyed during a bombardment in 1945.

The area has a turbulent history, which only added to our desire to preserve its silent witnesses.

In spite of large floor space of the building, we wanted to design it in a way that its front would resemble a stout, bourgeois tenement. This is why we opted for regular, large French windows, a clinker elevation (in two colours: dark grey and light sand) and vertical divisions separating the individual fragments of the edifice. Attention was paid to common areas, with visual identification, labelling of flats, varnished surfaces of wall facing (kept in white-grey colours, with bright orange details), whose colour refers to the one used on the elevation.

The six-storey building contains 200 flats in seven stairwells, eight commercial areas and two levels of car park. Due to the complicated layout of the floors, which results from the presence of the trees, the flats have different sizes and layouts – from studio flats to almost 90-metre apartments. A beautiful panorama of the Botanical Garden and Ostrów Tumski is visible from the large southern windows.

Photograph by Maciej Lulko