Kamienica Juliana Glassa

Julian Glass tenement house – a synonym for the great luxury of pre-war Warsaw

The Julian Glass tenement house located at 7 Lwowska Street is one of the most impressive examples of pre-war modernist architecture in Warsaw. Its characteristic bay windows, large windows, high-quality finishes and bright façade are still a symbol of old luxury. Lwowska Street itself is also quite impressive. Despite minor and major destruction, monumental and richly decorated tenement houses have survived on both sides of it, making this one of the most interesting places in the entire capital.

The tenement house was built between 1936 and 1937 by Julian Glass, an extremely wealthy Warsaw steel wholesaler, for the employees of the Polish Bank, and the architects of the building were regular collaborators, Jerzy Gelbard and Roman Sigalin. The modernist edifice at 7 Lwowska Street was characterised by the highest standards and levels of comfort. It was synonymous with great luxury and the quality and solidity of its workmanship. The six-storey building has one south-facing annexe, which was all that could be accommodated on the small plot of land. It was built using a reinforced concrete frame filled with bricks with fireproof ceilings. The façade of the building is distinguished by the Gelbard-Sigalin company’s characteristic triangular glazed bays, giving it a dynamic appearance.

The façade is clad with two-coloured sandstone slabs, varied by a crowning cornice, a slight facing of the window openings and a frieze consisting of a ribbon of vertical stone half-rails. Small balustrades were placed on the parapets. The façade bears traces of damage from the Second World War in several places. The interiors were very elegant and modern when the building was built. They featured large, multi-room flats of a high standard, equipped with, among other things, automatic kitchens, lifts, electric refrigerators, a laundry room or a drying room. Many of the solutions are still in use today.

Julian Glass’s tenement house in 1938 and 2024. Photo: Warszawski Modernizm i whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

An entrance framed by a simple portal was designed under the central bay window. The glazed door leads into a hallway with a mosaic tiled floor. The walls are covered with marbled stucco up to a height of approx. 2 metres. The steps of the staircase and the floors of the landings were faced with white marble, and the metal railings were given a pattern similar to that of the gateway. Terrazzo appears on the floors of the side corridors and staircases. The rear façade of the building is more modest.

Julian Glass’s tenement house survived the Second World War in very good condition. After 1945, it was home to Professor Jan Zachwatowicz, a well-known Warsaw conservationist, whom we wrote about HERE. Today, it belongs to the Warsaw University of Technology and professors live there.

The building is one of the best preserved in the group of the most luxurious Warsaw townhouses from the 1930s.

Source: warszawa.fandom.com, warszawa1939.pl

Also read: tenement | Warsaw | Architecture in Poland | Curiosities | whiteMAD on Instagram

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