Blok na ul. Północnej 14. Fot. Andrzej Tobis/andrzej.tobis

Demolition of the notorious arbitrary building on the roof of the “ugliest block of flats in Poland” has begun

In Jastrzębie-Zdrój, the long-awaited demolition of the superstructure on a building that has become known as the ‘ugliest block of flats in Poland’ has begun. The superstructure, known as the ‘villa on the roof’, was erected on top of the building at 14 North Street and was designed to resemble an aircraft or spaceship. The property, with its unusual design, has been the subject of numerous controversies, jokes and disputes over the years.

The history of the building dates back to the 1980s, when a textile factory was to be built on North Street. However, funding was lacking and the investment was aborted, leaving only the foundations. In the 1990s, the site was purchased by the Miners’ Housing Cooperative, which decided to build a 10-storey apartment block on these foundations. However, due to financial problems, only five floors were completed.

Block at 14 Północna St. Photo: Andrzej Tobis/andrzej.tobis


In the mid-1990s, the flats on the top floor were bought out by a private detective, Jerzy Godlewski, who decided to build a luxurious space-like penthouse on the roof of the building. Construction work began in 2000, but already then there were problems with the technical documentation. The building inspectorate halted the work, and the investment was resumed and halted several times over the following years.

Photo by Michal Bulsa,, licence CC-BY-SA-4.0

The construction of the superstructure was the subject of many disputes between Jerzy Godlewski and the cooperative authorities. It was alleged that some of the work was being carried out without the appropriate designs and permits, endangering the safety of residents. In 2014, the district building inspector ordered the demolition of the entire structure. The decision did not become final until three years later, after which the case was taken to the Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw, which finally ruled that the demolition was necessary.


Demolition work on the inside of the ‘villa’ began in June this year, while preparations for the exterior work began at the same time. The first stage, which will last until November, is expected to cost more than three million zloty. A further phase of work is planned for next year, but the exact cost has not yet been announced.


The demolition of the superstructure does not complete the process of upgrading the building. There are plans to restore the flue pipes, the soffits with their drainage and the lightning protection system. The residents of the block have been temporarily relocated to alternative accommodation. The work is aimed at restoring the building to comply with current building regulations and ensuring the safety of its residents.

In this way, another symbol of architectural arbitrariness is disappearing.


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