Blok pełen zieleni. Fot. MJZ

The famous Mokotow block as an oasis of greenery. Here is the vision by the MJZ office

The massive block of flats at 100 Sobieskiego Street in Warsaw’s Mokotów district made headlines less than two years ago. The abandoned building was then taken over by the city. After a years-long court battle, Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski decided to take it back from the Russian embassy. After renovation, the block was to be adapted to the needs of Ukrainian families who had found refuge in the capital. Unfortunately, its dire technical condition thwarted these plans. Today, the property still stands empty. However, architects from the MJZ office decided to let their imagination run wild and breathe life into it. They have created their vision for the renovation of this landmark building.

The housing estate at 100 Sobieskiego Street in Warsaw, designed by one of the best Polish architects of the 20th century – Piotr Sembrat and Janusz Nowak, was built in 1977, in the turbulent times of communism. The modernist building was constructed for the staff of the offices of the Commercial Counsellor and the USSR embassy. Despite the enforced mono-function addressed exclusively to Russian diplomats, the author managed to create one of the best hybrid buildings in the city, featuring an iconic massing in a terraced layout, making all the flat roofs adaptable for use.

A block on Sobieskiego 100 full of greenery. Photo MJZ

Sobieskiego 100

In this brutalist building one could find a multitude of functions and amenities, which were a real luxury at the time. The high ground floor housed, among other things, a club, a kindergarten, a 130-seat cinema, a sauna, a dentist’s surgery, a hair salon, a library and a basketball court. When the building was reclaimed by the Mayor of Warsaw in 2022, the plan was to use it as temporary housing for refugees from Ukraine, but the poor technical condition of the building, to which the previous owners had brought it, made these intentions impossible.

The block now and in the architects’ vision. Photo: Adrian Grycuk, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons and MJZ

“We would like to do some historical justice to the author of this unique ‘ill-born’ building years later. In addition, it is worth remembering the still ongoing war across our eastern border and honouring its victims – including and all forced migrants. All of the above deserved a symbolic victory. Modern monuments are not just granite sculptures but functional urban spaces. We have created a vision for the green upgrade of this building to also emphasise the importance of reusing what is good and available in cities. Imagine – an iconic Brutalist residential building with units ideally exposed to sunlight, with green terraces on all roofs collecting rainwater and surrounded by an existing park with a lake. And all this just 5 km from the city centre. One of the best places to live in the capital. ESG in its full glory” – write the architects from the MJZ office.

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Source: MJZ, team: Aleksandra Tarnowska, Kinga Zdąbłasz, Łukasz Wenclewski, Maciej Zawadzki

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Warsaw | Modernism | Architecture PRL | whiteMAD on Instagram

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