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Openwork townhouse stirs controversy

20 of December '23

Lodz City Hall has published a visualization of a solution to complement the empty space where the Hort-Cafe pavilion used to be. The frontage in Schiller Passage is to be complemented by an openwork building, which has been causing controversy.

A long-standing hole in the space

The hole in the Schiller Passage appeared after the owners of the Hort-Cafe pavilion demolished it. They decided to build a new pavilion in this place, which began to rise without permission. The result of the arbitrary construction was damage to the building next door. As the City Hall in Lodz points out in the announcement - the magistrate is trying to get compensation for the damaged building.

The process of destroying the pavilion and damaging the neighboring building proceeded simultaneously with the process of rebuilding the Schiller Passage, as part of which the passage was deconstructed.

openwork building

The incomplete frontage after the decommissioned pavilion has opened up new opportunities for the city. The solution is to be found in a concept prepared by BAM Architektura Maciej Balcerek, based on a concept by the Office of the City Architect, with Marek Janiak in charge.

The concept calls for the creation of a glass and metal, lightweight structure that refers to the 19th-century buildings of Piotrkowska Street. The new spaces are to be used for commercial establishments. The openwork tenement will overlook the passage through glass walls. The upper floors will be occupied by terraces, which restaurateurs will be able to rent.

According to the magistrate's staff - the construction of the openwork tenement may start in the first half of 2024, after the contractor is selected through a tender. A discussion has heated up around the idea, whether the proposed solution can be considered worthwhile.

koncepcja zaproponowana przez miasto wzbudza kontrowersję

The concept proposed by the City stirs up controversy

© Press materials of the City Hall of Lodz

openwork phantom?

There is no shortage of opponents of the form chosen by the office to complement the Schiller Passage. Criticism of the solution has been voiced, among others, by community activists working under the "Space for Lodz" campaign. They considered the openwork solution as creating "art for art's sake," instead of a real idea to solve problems.

The socialists also referred to a statement by the president of the Lodz branch of SARP, Jakub Krzysztofik, who pointed out that the concept is detached from reality.

glass houses?

The concept of filling the hole left by the pavilion certainly requires a broader, open discussion even before implementation. The City's proposal raises doubts in a number of aspects. One puzzling aspect is the use of an asymmetrical block, which contrasts dubiously in quality with the historicizing, symmetrical solution that mimics the townhouse. The vision proposed by the magistrate creates the impression of an incomplete, phantom solution.

dyskusja nad rozwiązaniami w tym miejscu powinny doczekać się otwartej dyskusji

The discussion of solutions at this location should be openly discussed

© Press materials of the City Hall of Lodz

developed by Wiktor Bochenek

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