Widok 8

Tenement house at Widok 8 – Viennese Art Nouveau in the heart of Warsaw

Warsaw’s Widok Street is hidden in the city centre, in the shadow of post-war buildings. The tenement houses there were quite lucky and mostly survived the war and the uprising. In the post-war years, it was decided to demolish some of them, creating space for new buildings in the spirit of socialist realism. The northern frontage of the street has survived to this day in much better condition than its southern part. The tall building at Widok 8 dominates and stands out among the number of preserved townhouses.

The building was constructed around 1910 according to a design by an unknown architect. The nine-storey edifice was erected in the midst of mostly three-storey tenement houses, making it decidedly dominant in the neighbourhood, and additionally one of the tallest in the city, next to, among others, Antoni Jasieńczyk-Jabłoński’s tenement house at Plac Zbawiciela. In the second half of the 1990s, the building’s façade was given its current elegant Viennese Art Nouveau style, decorated with green tiles, gold circular decorative elements or wrought-iron balustrades. A semi-circular bay window topped by a balcony was placed in the middle of the façade, and a geometrical gable dominates the whole.

During the 1944 uprising, the buildings on Widok Street were partially destroyed. During the post-war reconstruction and redevelopment of the centre of Warsaw, 13 tenements were demolished there, three of which were undamaged. The representative property at No. 8 survived, but the new buildings sprouting up in the vicinity somewhat overshadowed its impressive size.

In 1998, the townhouse underwent extensive reconstruction, during which it was restored to its Art Nouveau appearance. The interiors were fitted out with offices covering an area of as much as 3,600 square metres. As part of the extensive work, all the rich interior decoration was removed, only partially retaining it in the lobby and staircase. The ground floor was adapted for catering facilities.

Widok 8

Surrounded by new tall buildings, the magnificent building no longer looks like it used to, and the reconstruction has taken away much of its authenticity, which can be seen, for example, in the side elevations. Despite this, the building at Widok 8 is still one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau in Warsaw.

Source: polskaniezwykla.pl

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