Stara Szwalnia in Leszno has undergone a metamorphosis. It now houses loft flats

Another of Leszno’s post-industrial buildings has undergone a metamorphosis and been given a second life. Stara Szwalnia, with more than a century of tradition, now houses loft flats. The modernisation of the Leszno landmark lasted from mid-2020. The historic building received a refreshed façade, but the biggest changes took place inside.

The contractor of the works took care of every valuable element of the building. Among others, the historic staircase with some of its glazing, metal handrails and even the staircase fittings were carefully restored and preserved. Other design elements that are more than a century old have also survived in the building, including some of the brick walls and foot beams. These historical fragments contrast with the modernity – a lift, underground parking, or glass balconies lined with wood. In the former sewing room, the roof and the window and door joinery were replaced, which was based on archive photographs. Dormer windows with a contemporary form were created on the roof and terraces were incorporated. Also noteworthy is the restored entrance portal made of sandstone.

The units in Stara Szwalnia at 1 Skarbowa Street range in size from 70 to 160 square metres. Together with the modern building built next door, they form an apartment complex. The new building is part of the development, although it is a separate block. The residential and commercial units offered there differ in size and style from the historic interiors of the sewing room. The history of the site dates back to the early 20th century. The factory building as it stands today was built between 1904 and 1905. The then owners, the Goldschmidt family, produced cloth, textile goods and clothing here. When building the factory, the Jewish entrepreneurs invested in solutions that were modern for the time: reinforced concrete technology was used, sewage and central heating were installed, and the walls were covered with hydraulic plaster.

The Old Sewing Room in Leszno before and after modernisation

During World War II, the building was occupied by the Germans, but did not change its purpose – uniforms for soldiers, among other things, were sewn here. In 1945, the Soviet army organised an arms warehouse in it. In 1958 the building was handed over to the Leszczynski Zakład Przemysłu Odzieżowego, and the company was directly subordinate to the Central Board of the Clothing Industry in Łódź. At that time the factory specialised in the production of men’s and workwear clothing. After many perturbations, the factory became a branch of Zakłady Przemysłu Odzieżowego “Intermoda” in Wrocław in 1970 and this is how it was remembered by many Leszno residents. At the beginning of the 1990s, the facility briefly fell into the hands of the Goldschmidt family heirs and production continued there. In the following years it was abandoned, but not for long. The building found a new owner and a project to change its use was then conceived. In 2019, the metamorphosis began.

The Old Sewing Room in Leszno during and after modernisation

The limited partnership “Apartamenty Skarbowa Moderne Bis” became the new owner. The project for the redevelopment and new arrangement of the building was commissioned to the Grid Architekci studio, and the investor and general contractor for the works was Przedsiębiorstwo Budowlane AMBIT sp. z o.o. Thanks to the efforts of the specialists working on the modernisation of the building, the former clothing factory has been transformed into an aesthetically pleasing and useful facility.

The renovated building of the Stara Szwalnia has been recognised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the General Conservator of Monuments – in June 2023, the modernisation of the Stara Szwalnia was awarded in the ‘Zabytek Zadbany’ competition.

Source:, Przedsiębiorstwo Budowlane AMBIT,, Grid Architekci

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