Gmach NBP
Rozbiórka. Fot. Michał Krasucki

The NBP building in Warsaw is disappearing before its eyes. The building is undergoing extensive modernisation

The National Bank of Poland (NBP) has embarked on an ambitious project to modernise its building at Powstańców Warszawy Square. The investment, which will cost more than a quarter of a billion zlotys, is being carried out by Warsaw-based architectural firm TPF. The work is so advanced that the historic part of the 1970s building has been almost completely demolished, which has raised concerns among residents of the capital about the further fate of the landmark.

The NBP building, designed by Bohdan Pniewski and completed between 1948 and 1955, is considered an icon of post-war modernism. In 1974-1975, Maria Barbara Dąbska-Czerwińska added a lower wing on the side of Powstańców Warszawy Square, and the characteristic black façade was designed by Jerzy Łoziński, Eugeniusz Karwatka and Mirosław Duchowski. The building is listed in the municipal register of monuments and on the list of contemporary cultural assets of the Association of Polish Architects.

1980s Source: “WARSZAWA” Edward Hartwig, Marek Kwiatkowski, Sport and Tourism – Warsaw 1984

The modernisation project is the responsibility of the architectural office TPF, which is carrying out work on both the above-ground and underground parts of the building. According to AAG, the company providing investor supervision services, the project involves preserving the architectural character of the building while introducing modern material solutions and improving the integration of the ground floor with the urban space.

2022 Photo credit: mamik/, License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The redevelopment includes a thorough demolition down to the skeleton of the structure and reconstruction with new, modern materials. The project is the first major refurbishment of the building after almost 50 years of use. The scope of work has been agreed with the Mazovian Historic Preservation Officer and has the approval of the provincial conservation officer. The National Bank of Poland emphasises that this is a key investment, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2027, and the building is scheduled to be put into use a few months later.

The NBP building in 2022 and today, during demolition. Photo: Google Maps and Michał Krasucki

The modernisation work is necessary due to the years of use of the building, which needed a major overhaul. In 2012, there was an idea to build a new bank building, but these plans were abandoned in favour of modernising the existing facility.

The disappearing mass of the landmark building does not inspire optimism. However, we will still have to wait for the effect of this modernisation. The investor has announced that the valuable mosaics decorating the interior have been dismantled and will be returned to their place. Unfortunately, practically nothing will be left of the original structure, which is tantamount to the loss of another Warsaw landmark.


Read also: Architecture in Poland | Facade | Modernism | Metamorphosis | Warsaw

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