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Gdynia's downtown is growing over water. New hotel buildings in the spirit of modernism

13 of November '23

Another slice of Gdynia's Maritime Downtown will be filled with new developments. The modernism-referencing blocks, which will grow right next to Gdynia's marina and Kosciuszko Square, will feature hotel buildings with services, a swimming pool and a spa. To a large extent, it is up to the public spaces to determine whether a project emerging in one of Gdynia's key locations will be a success.

In Gdynia, in the areas of the waterfront, i.e. those with direct access to the waters of the Gulf of Gdansk, more investments are being built, creating the so-called Maritime Downtown. Plans have been floated for a long time, but only in recent years have they begun to take on more and more real shapes. Today, among others, Sea Towers, a hotel, an office building (construction of more is underway), Yacht Park apartments are already standing here, but—as city planners estimate—with all the buildings planned in this area, Gdynia's downtown will expand almost twice.

The city needs competitions. And well

In September we wrote about how the new office and residential buildings of the Waterfront complex are nearing completion. However, this is not the end, as the investor is preparing to build a multiplex cinema, a cultural pavilion and two hotels.

But the area between Topolowa Avenue and the Gdynia marina will also get new development. The project will include the construction of two buildings with services on the first floor. Parking spaces, a swimming pool and a spa area are planned in the underground floors. In September, investor Affiliate Project, a subsidiary of the Allenort Group, received a building permit. As it announces, construction work will begin in December and will take about 3.5 years.

Inwestycja powstaje w atrakcyjnej turystycznie lokalizacji - tuż obok mariny i skweru Kościuszki

The project is being built in an attractive tourist location—right next to the marina and Kosciuszko Square

Mat: studio B-CA/Affiliate Project

The project was selected through an architectural and urban planning competition, decided in April 2022, because Gdynia, to its credit, has written such a requirement into the local plan's findings. Competitions in the city are also required by planners for investors building on other valuable downtown plots of land—this was the case with the Gdynia Waterfront development (designed by JEMS Architekci) by the Sea Towers, or the Yacht Park marina apartment buildings on Fisherman's Pier (designed by Arch-Deco). In turn, the competition for the development at Kosciuszko Square was won by the studio from Gdansk B-CA (formerly under the name Bedra Cichosz Architekci).

Shades of modernist Gdynia

Our competition project in its form and body has not changed, but after many consultations, including with the city's historic preservation officer, we came to certain conclusions that it would be appropriate to dress this building in an even more modernist facade," explains architect Malgorzata Bedra of the B-CA studio in an interview with AiB.

One building will serve mainly as a hotel, while the other will house an aparthotel and apartments.

Elewacja z jasnego i czerwonego piaskowca

Facade of light and red sandstone

Mat: studio B-CA/Affiliate Project

We differentiate the buildings somewhat by color. We designed the aparthotel in the shades of modernist Gdynia, the facade is a cladding of light and red sandstone. It should be noted that the colors of modernist Gdynia are not strictly white, but actually light beige, light gray and light yellow. Decorative plaster imitating stone can also be found. On the other hand, the second building—with the function of a hotel—will be more avant-garde, darker, in sand-gray colors," explains designer Malgorzata Bedra.

important public space

In the service part of the first floor, an interesting element is a staircasebent into a wave, with seats on the sides, leading to the catering establishments located in this part of the complex. From here there will be a view of the marina and the beach.

And it is largely the quality of the public spaces that will determine whether the project will be a success and actually serve the residents.

Ciekawym elementem są wygięte w falę schody, z siedziskami po bokach, prowadzące do lokali gastronomicznych

An interesting element is the wave-like curved staircase, with seating on the sides, leading to the dining establishments

Mat: studio B-CA/Affiliate Project

Both the city and us wanted the surroundings of the facilities to become a public space," noted Malgorzata Bedra.—We want it to be used by Gdynia residents and tourists, so we designed many quarters, squares and pedestrian areas filled with greenery.

The architect emphasizes that after the commissioning of this and the investments planned in the neighborhood, a new, vibrant section of the city with commercial, service and residential functions will be created.

We hope that the architectural solutions and friendly planned greenery, as well as a very interesting gastronomic and service offer, will make the center of gravity of the city center move to where it should be in a seaside city—that is, to the waterfront area at Kosciuszko Square," Bedra noted.

As the jury justified, "the selected competition work best fits into the multifaceted context of a particularly attractive location, which is Kosciuszko Square in Gdynia and the neighborhood of the sea. The result of this inscription is a harmonized concept that positively influences the spatial order. In addition, the concept is distinguished by a rich functional program in line with the expectations of the organizer and a high aesthetic culture, reflecting the spirit of modernist Gdynia."

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast