Ząbkowska 23/25

Prague contrasts: 19th century buildings absorbed by modern development

The multi-family residential building “Kolonia Ząbkowska” at 23/25 Ząbkowska Street in the Old Praga district of Warsaw was built at the turn of the century. At the time, 19th-century single-storey buildings still existed in the area, reminding us of the history of the neighbourhood. The original project envisaged their demolition, which the activists of the Warsaw Cultural Heritage Preservation Team did not agree with. Eventually, a compromise was adopted: the facades of the historic buildings were reconstructed and incorporated into the new structure.

The five-storey building with 138 flats was built in 1998-2000 to a design by Tadeusz Szumlewicz of the WADECO Architectural Studio. At the end of the 1990s, in the section of Ząbkowska Street from Brzeska Street to Markowska Street, there were one-storey buildings numbered 15a and 17 and a two-storey tenement house numbered 21.

The original project adopted by the district authorities envisaged the demolition of these buildings, which was opposed for many years by activists from the Team of Guardians of Warsaw’s Cultural Heritage. The compromise that was worked out after several months envisaged the demolition of the three properties, numbered 15a,17 and 21, and their reconstruction in the façade of the new building.

Praskie kontrasty

It was possible to restore the façade of the building with the address Ząbkowska 19, which was demolished back in the 1960s and is twinned with number 17. During the works, the reconstructed historical buildings were unified. Huge blocks of flats have grown up over the formerly intimate neighbourhood, dominating the landscape. The contemporary renderings of the facades of the ’19th century’ buildings are conspicuous, and an ahistoric continuation of the building can be seen behind the front of the townhouse number 21. The only authentic element seems to be the wrought iron balcony balustrade. However, it is gratifying that the old buildings were taken into account during the project and that traces of them are still visible today, albeit in an artificial and caricatured form.

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Source: twoja-praga.pl

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Facade | Estate | Block | Warsaw

Subject: Ząbkowska 23/25: old buildings vs. modern development

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