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Sosnowiec: the park glorieta has regained its shine. The monument was saved at the last minute

Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the glorieta was an ornament of the park surrounding the palace of the Dietl family, some of the industrial tycoons living in Sosnowiec. The post-war change of ownership of the estate and years of neglect led to the gradual degradation of the building. The monument was saved at the last moment by the intervention of the townspeople. The renovation of the building was carried out as part of the “Pearl of Pogoń” project and realised thanks to funds from the Civic Budget.

The Gloriette was built between 1901 and 1904 as a piece of park architecture. After the Second World War, the park fell into the hands of the city. The buildings in it were left without proper care over time, causing them to fall into disrepair and some even ceased to exist. After years of neglect, the time has come to rescue this unique monument. Work began in autumn 2021. The task was allocated through a public tender under the design and build formula. The reconstruction project and the conservation proceedings programme were carried out by arch. Łukasz Prażuch studio PPLP and arch. Robert Filipek. The structural design was carried out by DT-ING engineer Tomasz Baron. The whole project was coordinated by Art Inventis. The investor was the municipal company Sosnowieckie Inwestycje.

Condition before work commenced

The task seemed relatively straightforward. A repair concept emerged from the survey, which involved replacing damaged elements and leaving what could be salvaged. A major problem at the design stage was the reconstruction of the stairs leading to the upper viewing terrace. The height of the upper balustrade and the dimensions of the stairs did not meet technical conditions and would have posed a danger to future users. By decision of the WKZ, the reconstruction of the stairs was abandoned. Within 3 months, the project, including all agreements, was completed and a building and conservation permit was obtained.

“Already during the design work, models and moulds were created in our stucco workshop for the reconstruction of the detail, of which not a single original piece has survived except for the heads of the columns” – says Bartłomiej Ozimek of Art Inventis.

The Glorieta before and after the completion of the works

Comprehensive conservation work began in spring 2022, covering almost every element of the glorieta. At the same time, the contractor tried to preserve as many original elements of the building as possible. This was not always possible – as, for example, in the case of the heads of the columns, which, despite the preservation of the detail, had deteriorated as a result of frost and corrosion of the steel profiles. As part of the work, the foundations were excavated, dried and insulated. The staircase leading to the gloriette was reconstructed to its original shape, and the balustrades and bases of the columns were restored. The ceiling and the beam above the columns were replaced, the upper part of the building with the sculptures there was also reconstructed and the remaining original parts of the old historic substance were repaired. The work was carried out in full mobilisation, at times with 20 people working simultaneously in this small area. Finally, the whole area was additionally illuminated, the surface of the park avenue was repaired and the surroundings landscaped. The final touch was to repaint the entire structure.

Reconstruction of the heads

“It was also not without funny but also dangerous moments. One day in late April, a swarm of bees flew out of the hollow of a nearby tree and took a liking to our construction site. It was quite funny to see the big carpenters and reinforcers running away in panic from the little insects. Construction came to a standstill for two days” – bartłomiej Ozimek recalls.

The renovated glorieta looks elegant and dignified. The building has regained its original appearance, which until now could only be seen in old photographs. Thanks to the action of the city’s inhabitants and the funds from the Civic Budget, it was possible to save this important monument for Sosnowiec.

The total cost of the works amounted to over PLN 600,000.

Source: Art Inventis, Reconstruction and Rebuilding

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Monument | Metamorphosis | Renovation | History | whiteMAD on Instagram

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