Check out the A&B portal!

Grotesque effect. Migowo Manor estate with an astonishing compromise

12 of December '23

On the Dwór Migowo estate in Gdansk, a baroque park will be restored, a service building will be built, referring to the old manor house, and a residential building will be constructed. The grotesque form taken by the latter rightly causes controversy, but neither the investor nor the preservationist - feel guilty.

Thenew housing development is planned at the intersection of Bulońska and Myśliwska streets in the Piecki-Migowo district of Gdansk. The site formerly housed a historic mansion and one of the few surviving baroque parks (from the 18th century). The neglected building disappeared from the neighborhood's landscape in 2000. Then it was demolished, the building was removed from the register of historical monuments, and the owner began to float plans to build a new housing development. Nothing came of these plans, however, and five years later the 2.2-hectare site was bought by a local developer, Inpro.

second approach to investment

But the site continued to be unlucky for investment. Inpro's plans to arrange a park on the plot and erect as many as six residential buildings (about 200 apartments) and - in the place of the former manor house - a two-story service building with a restaurant on the first floor, all came to nothing. The reason? The site of the former manor house is under conservation protection, and Inpro did not get permission from the Provincial Office for Historic Preservation for the investment in this form.

The brand new project ( by Barbara Modzelewska's Design Studio), agreed with the conservator, saw the light of day a few days ago and is causing quite a controversy. The entire project consists of a residential building and a commercial building - this one will stand in place of the demolished mansion - as well as a restored park. Discussions have heated up around the residential part - because it's the only one so far shown on the visualization by Inpro. The modern residential building, which will stand in a place where there were no buildings before, is intended to refer to neoclassicism. Risalites will appear on the facade. The effect is quite grotesque, and such a form is out of step with the buildings in the surrounding area.

Dwór Migowo, część mieszkaniowa

Migowo mansion, residential part

mat. Inpro

The fault does not lie solely with the preservationist and Inpro. It's hard to understand why a step toward cleaning up the area left behind by the former mansion was not also taken by the city. For years, the important plot did not live to see a local plan enacted, so the investment will be built based on a zoning decision. This - as well as a building permit - has already been issued.

looking for culprits

Inpro explains the appearance of the building by the expectations of the preservationist.

- We hired a designer who agreed with the Provincial Office for Historic Preservation in Gdansk on the shape of the blocks. The office approved the project, issuing the necessary decisions and approvals," says Rafał Zdebski, Inpro's commercial director.

The conservator, who has many controversial decisions to his credit, suffice it to mention the footbridge in Oliwa described by us in the pages of AiB, defends his vision, although the final result does not fully satisfy him either.

While from the side of Bulonska Street, from the perspective of the block housing estates, the building is stylistically alien, from the inside of the park, the facade, referring to neoclassicism, will fit in with the neo-baroque green complex, Igor Strzok claims. - A long block will separate the park from the busy street. The intention to avoid monotony with such a long residential building has resulted in the appearance of three shallow risalits, which are to serve the purpose of making the façade more distinct. Looking at the visualizations, however, the design was heavily overdone in both color and detail. We asked the investor to limit the decorative nature of the facade," says the Pomeranian conservator.

And he adds that he could have stuck to the thesis that no development should remain in the place next to the park foundation, where vegetable gardens used to be.

But I'm a realist, if it wasn't for me, more intensive development would probably have been agreed to by my successor, he argues in an interview with AiB. - Our goal was first and foremost to save the park, the final result is a certain compromise. Earlier, the developer proposed banal, five-story blocks of flats, occupying almost half of the plot.

That's not the end of the plans, however, as the development will include a service building in addition to the housing. In accordance with conservationist recommendations, the cubic volume will relate to the demolished mansion.

The building will be put up for sale by tender," explains Rafal Zdebski. - We want a restaurant to operate there, perhaps a kindergarten, decisions have not yet been made. We are working on the visualization, we will tell about the details in the spring of 2024. My dream is that from the windows of the restaurant guests can admire the park. The park itself we need to recreate, taking care of the details.

The park will regain its former glory, but....

The good news is that the developer will do a full restoration of the park, which will be separated from the new building by a gravel avenue planted with hornbeams and rowans. It will also recreate the historic layout of French and English-style terraces and gardens.

The trouble is that, as we hear from the company, it is not yet known whether the park will be open to the public, or whether only residents of the development will benefit from it. It is worth recalling that in the previous version of the project, the bone of contention was who would take over management of the park. At the time, the investor made it a condition that the city must take over the care of the green space. It will be absurd if the park is fenced off with a fence, and visitors will only be able to view the historic establishment through glass.

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast