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Apartments in place for tourism and recreation. On target: Poznan's Malta and urban planning

29 of September '23

A mockery of planning and law is the growing wave of apartments pretending to be "apart hotels." An extensive complex of such buildings is to be built on Lake Malta in Poznań. In a place designated in the plan for "tourist and recreational services." The vast area overlooking the lake is just surrounded by a fence. There is also a problem with the project.

Lake Malta is the pride of Poznan. The artificial reservoir with a regatta course on the Cybina River was created in 1952 in the so-called eastern wedge of greenery stretching from the city limits to the outskirts of downtown. The western end of the lake is located one and a half kilometers in a straight line from the Old Market Square. The complex, known as Malta, owes its present shape to the great reconstruction of the 1980s, designed by Klemens Mikula, an architect who was involved in competitive rowing in his youth.

jezioro Maltańskie, Poznań, widok na trybuny, wieżę sędziowską prz mecie toru

Lake Malta, Poznań, view of the stands, the judges' tower at the finish line of the course

photo: Jakub Glaz

Mikula designed most of the buildings servicing the rowing and kayaking course and landscaped much of the landscape surrounding the water. The architecture is maintained in the spirit of postmodernism, and its consistent and well-thought-out forms are perhaps the best representative of this trend in Poznan. A few years before his death in 2014, Mikula insisted that he was satisfied with his work, but lacked more of the trees he envisioned in his 1980s concept. His skepticism about the Malta Thermal Baths, completed in 2011 on the north side of the lake, also came as no surprise. The thermal baths, completed without a design-build competition, are at best tolerable in form. They also do not make good use of the unique context, although it must be said that they happily do not impose themselves with their form (proj. ATJ Architects for Alstal Budownictwo).

termy Maltańskie, widok ogólny od wschodu z terenu pod inwestycję Malta View

Malta Thermal Baths, general view from the east from the Malta View development site

photo: Jakub Głaz

all you have to do is want it!

Now a complex of six buildings is to be erected next to the Thermal Baths: a hotel with 130 rooms and five buildings (mostly three-story), housing 170 apartments ranging in size from about 30 to almost 140 sqm. The fence around the plot has been erected since July, and for the past week the Malta View website has been announcing the sale of units (prices from PLN 15,000 to 25,000 per sq. m.).

kompleks Malta View nad jez. Maltańskim w Poznaniu, wizualizacja, proj. CDF Architekci

Malta View complex on Lake Malta in Poznań, visualization, design by CDF Architects - general view from the side of Lake Malta (at the bottom of the illustration out of the frame); in the upper part one can see a fragment of a sub-standard housing estate at 183 Warszawska Street, built before the war for the unemployed; on the right (behind the frame) - the Malta Baths

© CDF Architects; source: investor matrix,

"The apartments" will formally be commercial premises. However, as Radoslaw Wojciechowski of the Malta Apartments company admits in an article by Poznan's Gazeta Wyborcza the day before yesterday:

Everyone will decide for himself how he will use his apartment. If he wants to live there, he will do so.

The complex is planned on a vast area between the Thermal Baths, the lake, the Maltanka park railroad track and the open space next to the campground. The location is ideal - close to the center and in one of the most interesting recreational areas.

teren pod inwestycję malta View, Poznań

Malta View development site, Poznań - view from the north towards the lake; visible fence behind it the lake; on the other shore: Freedom Mound, ski slope

photo: Jakub Głaz

The project is the work of CDF Architekci studio led by Karol Fiedor. The architecture looks more than correct, although the function of the five "apartment buildings" (which the designers were aware of) and the lack of visible efforts to make the development blend more strongly into the landscape are highly problematic. The building permit was issued in 2020, based on the current local plan from 2004 (which also includes the Malta Thermal Baths area).

kompleks Malta View nad jez. Maltańskim w Poznaniu, wizualizacja, proj. CDF Architekci

Malta View complex on Lake Malta in Poznań, visualization, design by CDF Architects - view of Lake Malta from the clearance between the hotel and the "apartment building".

© CDF Architekci; source: investor's matrix,

plan passed and plan amended

According to the plan, the land that has just been won is a "tourism and recreation services area." A "hotel, a conference facility, cubature objects related to tourism and recreation" can be built on it . Accompanying functions such as gastronomy, "tourist, recreational and sports" facilities, playing fields are also allowed. You also have to provide at least 250 parking spaces - on the surface or in buildings. These provisions were intended to allow the construction of a hotel for tourists visiting the Malta Thermal Baths (the investor was going to be the municipal company building them).

Themaximum height of buildings written in the plan is 11 meters with a flat roof and 13 - for other forms. Only that the area slopes down toward the lake, and the vague plan does not include ordinates and it is not clear how to measure these heights. Judging by the visualizations showing three stories on the lake side, the possibilities offered by the impassable building line drawn closer to the body of water for only one story were not used. It is also interesting that for the past 10 years an unspecified amendment to the provisions of this plan has been under way precisely for the area covered by the current development.

mpzp dla terenu nad Maltą pod zabudowę usługami turystycznymi i rekreacyjnymi

mpzp for the area on the Malta River for tourist and recreational services - the area for the Malta View development - 3UT/kX; with two impassable building lines

source: Urban Planning Studio Poznań

thicker intentions and no payment

The apartments announced today are not the first attempt to circumvent planning provisions. In 2011, the municipal company Termy Maltańskie abandoned the construction of a hotel and sold the site to PBG Erigo Developer. The latter immediately announced the construction of a hotel and an apartment building 25 meters (!) high (!), bypassing the local plan, based on the EURO 2012 speculative law (a list of key investments for the organization of the championships). Protests from councilors, the press and community activists curbed these intentions. There was no talk of building on a special basis, and the idea of residential commercial units had not yet occurred to anyone at the time. Such large buildings were also opposed by Clement Mikula himself, while calling for possible new facilities on Malta to be hidden in the lush greenery. Nevertheless, from time to time there are announcements of the construction of buildings right next to the lake, the existence, function and aggressive form of which were not anticipated by the City or the designer of the complex ( we described the case of the hotel on the other side of the lake two years ago).

grodzony teren pod inwestycję Malta View, Poznań

Fenced-off area for the Malta View development, Poznań - a view of the judges' tower in perspective; this is the view some of the tenants of the "apartments" will have

photo: Jakub Głaz

In 2012 there was another unsuccessful approach - this time only to build a hotel for the Hilton Garden Inn chain - already based on the mpzp. After that, the matter became quieter. It was not until the end of the previous decade that PBG Erigo commissioned CDF Architects to do the design work. Then the land and the project (from PBG Erigo's liquidator) were bought by Wojciechowski of Malta Apartamenty. And here it's time for the icing on the cake of the Malta investment combination. According to Karol Fiedor, the current investor does not have the author's property rights to dispose of the project. Back in July, Fiedor informed us that the previous principal had not paid him for the design work, and therefore - according to the contract - the rights remained with the studio. According to the designer's statement to "Wyborcza," nothing has changed since then.

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast