Bielskie Farmstead. Unusual renovation of a turn-of-the-century manor house!

Bielskie Folwark is a perfect combination of historic architecture and modern solutions. From the beginning, the owners knew the great value of the complex they owned. They wanted to breathe a modern spirit into this historic place, which they did thanks to the cooperation with architects from the MFRMGR studio, as well as the understanding and openness to new ideas of the conservator.

Bielskie Folwark is named after the village in which the building is located. Dating from the turn of the 19th/20th century, the post-German buildings consist of 3 buildings: a house, a cowshed and stables. The building had been falling into disrepair for years. After years of neglect, it was purchased by new Investors who decided to open an agrotourism in the walls of the manor, which would refer to the history of the place, but at the same time would bring a breath of freshness and modernity to the place. The renovation work was completed in 2017

“In 2017, we completed the renovation and, in fact, the reconstruction of the barn, which turned from a farm building into a residential house with six guest rooms and a large common area. In the building, we tried to preserve as many original elements as possible, such as walls, ceilings or columns. A few years later, we decided to renovate the stables too. Our initial plan was to renovate the entire building. The MFRMGR studio from Warsaw was responsible for the design of the whole. We got planning permission for the whole building, but decided to renovate only half of it. We prepared a design for half of the building, added a roof extension and added a modern bay window to this roof. MFRMGR studio was responsible for this project as well. The two designs, for the original planning permission and for the replacement planning permission, were basically the same, differing only in terms of the roof extension with a modern bay window.” – explain the owners of Bielskie Folwark

While waiting for the replacement permit, it turned out that the entire farmhouse had been entered in the register of historical monuments a few years earlier, which the investors were not aware of
This was also not noted when the original planning permission was issued for the entire building, despite the fact that the farm was already listed on the historic buildings register at that time

“I knew that the design of a modern bay window on a listed building might not meet with the approval of the conservation officer. Indeed, initially the conservation officer was not enthusiastic about the extension. Fortunately, I managed to convince her that the project was worth realising, despite its controversial form. It was important to her that the design had already been completed, some of the components for the construction had been ordered and paid for, and that we were not aware of the historic nature of the building through no fault of our own. If it hadn’t been for this combination of circumstances, I don’t think we would ever have risked such a solution in the design, as it clearly doesn’t fit in with the historic Mazurian buildings. I don’t think it would have passed conservation review either. As a result, the building in its current form would never have been built.” – adds the owner

The result was a residential building in an old post-German farm building. A building in which the original elements have also been preserved, such as the ceiling, the walls with plaster, which naturally creates a wabi sabi effect. The stable is now a comfortable house with three guest rooms and two living rooms, and its modern exterior stands out from other such revitalisations in Poland

I hope that our renovation will open up possibilities for more modern solutions and forms when renovating historic buildings. I think it is worth allowing for more daring projects, even in historic buildings, if only to save at least some of the deteriorating buildings in Poland

source: Folwark Bielskie /
project: MFRMGR /

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