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A project of apartments on the roof of Gdansk's Falowiec. A new look at modernist architecture

23 of June '21

Julia Podsiadło is the author of a project for apartments on the roof of one of the Falowce - modernist buildings located in the Przymorze housing estate in Gdansk. It was the longest of them, built in the 1970s and located on Obrońców Wybrzeża Street, that became the subject of the diploma thesis of a student of the Interior Design Department of the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts. The project received an honorable mention in the Design23!

w Gdańsku

The apartments on the roof have been obscured by an openwork membrane structure

© Julia Podsiadło

modernism and house factories

The Falowiec building, designed by Tadeusz Różanski, Danuta Oledzka and Janusz Morek, entails a broader theme of modernism and the state of residential architecture in postwar Poland. Modernism was a trend that redefined residential architecture. Key architects of the period formed the CIAM Congress, which contributed to the Athens Charter. It was a list of tasks that were set for modern architecture. Modernism in Poland continued during the interwar period, and the situation changed dramatically after World War II. The socialist authorities tried to prevent a housing deficit through "house factories", which erected a huge number of large-panel blocks of flats. There were a few developments that went beyond mass production," says Julia Podsiadlo.

Rzut Falowca po

The wave building on Obrońców Wybrzeża Street is the longest of its kind in Gdansk

© Julia Podsiadło

gdansk Falowce

One such unique development is the Falowce on Osiedle Przymorze in Gdansk. The buildings, with their characteristic broken masses, resemble sea waves. Their staircases are bright and spacious and equipped with elevators, while balconies are also broken at an angle, creating an interesting facade. Julia Podsiadlo's work, done under the supervision of Prof. Beata Szymanska, focused on the Falowiec building on Obrońców Wybrzeża Street, the mass of which has not changed since its construction in 1972. In the diploma project, Falowiec is adapted to the needs of the modern resident. The author envisaged three programs of functional changes.

Parter przeznaczono na

The author allocated the first floor for premises, such as restaurants

© Julia Podsiadlo

glazed first floor

The first change in the organization of the space is the first floor, which will be elevated on columns and have glass exterior walls. The glass walls are set at an angle, referring to the characteristic balconies and composition of the entire building. Premises with different functions will be placed next to the staircases.

Rzut parteru Falowca Rzut przestrzeni usługowej

The first floor as well as the first and second floors are intended for premises and offices

© Julia Podsiadło

All these spaces and the entrances to the building will be adapted for the disabled, which is currently lacking in the Falowca building. The designer has designed two sample interiors of the premises, referring to the aesthetics of communist Poland. She used frosted glass, furniture from the 1970s and applied terrazzo.

 Gdański Falowiec,
klatka schodowa  Piętro pierwsze
i drugie to lokale usługowe

The first and second floors were designed for offices, art studios and doctors' offices

© Julia Podsiadlo

office premises

Another highlight of the project is the change of the first and second floors into office premises. This is the architect's response to the independent activities of the residents of Osiedle Przymorze, who rent their apartments for services. Offices, art studios and doctors' offices will be located there. The author designed two proposals. The first is a small apartment of 47 square meters, from which individual offices are separated. The second is a co-working space created from three interconnected apartments, with a total area of 141 square meters. The entire space will be glazed (including the doors), this will allow light into the space from two sides - the entrance, as well as from the balconies.

Gdański Falowiec,
rzut mieszkań na dachu W mieszkaniach autorka
zastosowała lastryko i luksfery

The author has proposed one- and two-level apartments

© Julia Podsiadlo

apartments on the roof

The last and third point of the functional program is the adaptation of the roof, which will serve as residential and recreational space. In addition to the large apartments, the architect envisioned gardens, which are divided into private and public. The new section of the building will be overshadowed by an openwork fiberglass membrane structure , which will differentiate it from the original modernist section and protect it from overheating. The facade is finished in white cement, just as the architects of the Wave Building originally envisioned.

 Aranżacja mieszkań
łączy nowoczesność ze stylistyką PRL-u

Apartment arrangement combines modernity with communist style

© Julia Podsiadło

The area of the designed apartments is close to that of single-family houses. The designer has proposed two types of apartments: one-level and two-level. In the interiors, Julia Podsiadło proposed a combination of modern solutions using materials and Polish design from the 1970s. The furniture she used is, for example, Rajmund Halas type 200-190 chairs and "366" armchairs by Jozef Chierowski.

Dobrawa Bies

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