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Hotel in old granaries. New development sparks debate

04 of March '24

A five-star hotel will be built in the historic granaries Great and Little Groddeck on Granary Island in Gdansk, which have been deteriorating for years. But concerns are being heard in the city: is this another not-so-lucky project in Downtown?

It's one of the last places on Granary Island from which passersby today look away. The granaries on Chmielna Street have been standing undeveloped for years, having no luck with investors. In 1914 the buildings were wiped out by fire, and they were not rebuilt until the 1980s, when the Music Academy was to move in, but the plans fell through. The granaries began to change hands and... haunt the city center.

five stars and... a repeat of the architecture

Announced in 2018, plans to build a hotel on the site went quiet for a good few years, but now they are returning with vigor. The first works are underway on the plot, which will include a five-star hotel under the Marriott banner. But fears are being heard in the city that this will be another not-so-happy project on the Motlawa River. The facades of the new buildings, contrasting with the historic buildings, look rather alien. It's hard to resist the impression that both the form and the facades of the new buildings are a little repetition of the Deo Plaza development on the northern tip of Granary Island (which was also designed by the KD Kozikowski Design studio). Anyway, a similar architectural form was taken by the Grano Residence hotel (KD Kozikowski Design).

Architect: we did not use red brick on purpose

We will add buildings to the historic granaries on both sides of them, which will have a contemporary expression, referring, of course, to the masses of the old granaries ," architect Marcin Kozikowski says of the project. - We purposely did not use red brick so that the Great and Little Groddeck granaries would be exposed as part of the overall mass , he adds in an interview with A&B.

The designer explains that in the old granaries only the exterior walls and partially the walls in the basement are historical. - And these elements we will preserve. All the modern rest - will be replaced.

Among the debated elements is that in some visualizations the new development surpasses the existing granaries. Narrow references to granaries on both sides of Podwale Przedmiejskie have also come under criticism. Marcin Kozikowski says that the latter are the result of parcel divisions.

According to the plan, we have to map them in the building. However, as for the height - although the local plan allowed higher, the conservator did not allow the new development to exceed the height of the existing granaries. The buildings will be of equal height ," Marcin Kozikowski announces in an interview with A&B.

Granary Island getting denser, but...

Piotr Lorens, Architect of the City of Gdansk, is critical of the project. The investment was not consultedwith him, because it was proceeded long before the city authorities created the position of city architect in 2021 .

Inwestycja powstaje przy ul. Chmielnej na południowym cyplu Wyspy Spichrzów

The project is being built on Chmielna Street on the southern tip of Granary Island

© KD Kozikowski Design

In my opinion, the architecture is not appropriate for this location. I regret that the project could not make it to our agreements. Today it's too late - the investor has a building permit and is starting work ," says Piotr Lorens in an interview with A&B.

On the one hand, Granary Island will soon be almost entirely developed, although just a few years ago - when we described the numerous "holes of shame" and granaries falling into disrepair - it seemed impossible. On the other hand, the numerous new developments on Granary Island show as plainly as day why - and we've been saying this for years - well-prepared architectural competitions that give a chance for a variety of projects are so important. Unfortunately, such practice is still a rarity - and this applies to key plots of land in the city.

Tak ma wyglądać nowy hotel Marriott w centrum Gdańska

This is what the new Marriott hotel in downtown Gdansk is supposed to look like

© KD Kozikowski Design

Ewa Karendys

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