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"Golden tenements" in Gdansk to be demolished? Investor wants to build a residential building with a dominant feature

26 of January '24

Instead of the characteristic "golden tenements" of the 1990s, a new taller residential development with a 27-meter-high dominant. This is the kind of development on Długie Ogrody Street, in the heart of Gdansk, that the building's owner, Alides Polska, would like to realize. The plans are already causing discussions at the start.

The kitschy building with gold-tinted windows in a representative part of the city offends many, but is nevertheless a valuable example of development from the 1990s. It was designed by Stanislaw Michel, a distinguished Danzig architect, author of projects for the reconstruction of more than a hundred Danzig townhouses. The office building (now called Waterside, formerly Artus Park) has 7,800 sf of office space. This is the building that Amber Gold once took a liking to, opening its headquarters there.

The investor wants to build higher

It has been known for a while that the plot is facing changes. City councilors in March 2023, at the request of the investor, voted to proceed with a new local plan. The function is to change: from commercial to residential with services on the first floor. There was a buzz about the plans again when in January, during a meeting of the city's Land Use Commission, the building's owner presented a concept with a 27-meter-high dominant building. And he strongly surprised the councilors.

Plansza prezentowana przez inwestora radnym podczas Miejskiej Komisji Zagospodarowania Przestrzennego

The board presented by the investor to councilors during the Municipal Land Use Commission

Photo: Przemyslaw Majewski, Councilman of the City of Gdansk

This proposal deviates from the City's vision for the area, we do not foresee a dominatrix in the planning assumptions ," says Emila Lodzinska, a Gdansk councilor and chairwoman of the Spatial Development Commission. - What is important: the presented project has not yet been agreed with the conservator, so the investor still has a lot of work ahead of him.

The investor is Alides Polska, the same company that is planning a huge development project in Gdansk for the former Imperial Shipyard. Today, the golden tenements in the highest part are nearly 21 meters without spires (about 22.5 meters when they are included). The investor wants the City to allow development of 20 to 23 meters with a 26-meter dominant. Meanwhile, the draft plan under development calls for a maximum of 21 meters.

It's high time to take care of this representative place ," says Luiza Grunwald of Alides Polska in an interview with A&B. - The existing development significantly deviates from many current standards, such as those for energy. We believe that introducing a residential function in the center of Gdansk is needed and will fit in with the needs of the city and residents.

And he stresses that this is the beginning of the design work, and the developer wants to work out solutions with all stakeholders.

Thenew development, through its varied scale, is expected to both fit in with the surrounding buildings and organize them. From the side of Stągiewny Bridge (view from the Main City), our property is an important and exposed corner of Długie Ogrody Street, which will change its face in the coming years," says Luiza Grunwald.

The investor points out that at the back of the plot stand 34-meter-high blocks of flats (11 stories). Moreover, the development in this part of the city - whether we as residents want it or not - is creeping up. Suffice it to mention, for example, the 33-meter-high Puro Hotel, built a few years ago in the neighborhood.

Biurowiec funkcjonuje dziś pod nazwą Waterside (wcześniej Artus Park)

The office building today operates under the name Waterside (formerly Artus Park)

Ewa Karendys

City Architect: the development should not be so homogeneous

Piotr Lorens, Architect of the City of Gdansk, is critical of the investor's vision.

On the one hand, we have the so-called "golden tenements" of debatable architecture, which are, however, in a sense a monument to the times of early postmodernism. The redevelopment of this complex has been announced for a long time - investors have already presented several projects. However, the presented solution is, in my opinion, not good - the development should not be so homogeneous, and at the same time it should somehow relate to the context of the place. On the other hand, it is worth proposing solutions for this space that are not necessarily copies or variations on historical originals.

Although according to Piotr Lorens, it is not necessarily the height that is the problem. The City Architect believes that it is possible to consider increasing the height of the buildings on the west side (i.e. from the Motława River).

Especially since in the second line there are a number of point-buildings realized back in the 1970s. Of course, it will be up to the planners and the preservationist to make a decision on this matter, especially since an amendment to the plan for the area is currently being processed. However, in order to make a final decision on this issue, it is necessary to analyze the views from a number of characteristic points - the perspective from Stągiewna Street. Views from Ołowianka, Szafarnia, Żuławska Gate," says Piotr Lorens.

In turn, Emilia Lodzinska, head of the city's Land Use Commission, stresses that 21 meters is the optimal height.

I am not in favor of allowing higher buildings in this place. Undoubtedly, also in terms of architecture, this project needs fine-tuning. This is an important place on the map of Gdansk, haste is not a good advisor," says Emilia Lodzinska.

competition? much depends on the conservator

The best solution would be to organize an architectural competition. And it turns out that such a solution is in play. Members of the city's Land Use Commission are considering whether to include this requirement in the plan under development. They are, however, placing certain conditions.

This decision depends on how strictly the preservationist will approach the provisions. If he formulates his guidelines precisely, it is reasonable to abandon this idea. If, on the other hand, the guidelines are general, such a provision is worth including," says Emilia Lodzinska.

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast