Nowy Świat 3
Fot. whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

Tenement house at 3 Nowy Świat Street – a breath of modernity in pre-war Warsaw

The tenement house at 3 Nowy Świat Street is the work of the partnership of architects J. Gelbard and R. Sigalin, who were among the best-paid architects in Poland in the 1930s. The building was constructed between 1932 and 1933. It was owned and commissioned by the Bank Handlowy and Abram Wachsmacher

the 6-storey building was one of the earliest realisations created in the spirit of extreme functionalism in Warsaw in the 1930s. At the time of its construction, the building aroused controversy – due to its uncompromising, ultra-modern architecture, unsuited in its form to the historic surroundings of the Royal Route. However, some architecture critics at the time felt that the building gave the street a fresh look

Photo: whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

The building housed a two-storey luxury café and the night entertainment venue ‘Paradis’. These were among the most elegant and unique in their layout in interwar Warsaw. They were compared to the famous ‘Adria’. The interiors of the premises were finished with luxurious materials: the walls were clad in wood panelling with calm tones and straight grain, marble cladding and white chrome-plated metal. Above the parquet floor, a modern ‘light plafond’, popular in the 1930s, was placed. The interiors of the Cafe Club were maintained in the aesthetics typical of such establishments in the capital at the time

The tenement in 1938 and 2023. Source: State Archive in Warsaw

Nowy Świat just after the war and today. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive

Nowy Świat just after the war and today. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive

The building at 3 Nowy Świat Street survived the Second World War without major damage and has remained unchanged in its architecture to this day. After the war, the premises on the ground floor functioned under its former name for several years, and after it was nationalised it was renamed “Melodia”. Due to its proximity to the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party, it was popular with the communist nomenklatura. In 2004, the tenement house underwent a major renovation. The ground floor of the building now houses the Hustler club, which has partially preserved the main elements of its former design


Read also: Architecture | Tenement house | Architecture in Poland | Monument | Warsaw | Interesting facts

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