The historical tenement house as a seemingly unattractive building had once its glory days. It was built around 1900. It had high aesthetic values and numerous decorations. It was finished with beautiful red bricks and contrasting elements of bright colors. We decided to restore the original splendor and beautiful proportions of the designed tenement house, using design measures appropriate to the current times, the context of the place, and the achievements of modern technology. The structure of the building defines an innovative structure that grows out of the historical DNA of the place. We aim to find motives typical for Krakow, we are inspired by local architecture – the Wawel Royal Castle, a multitude of styles, Gothic, Krakow domes, Renaissance cloisters and Modernism.
The construction of our structure gains innovative, extraordinary dynamics. Observing this object from a perspective, the building has a distinctly Gothic character, with soaring lines, while from close up it resembles Renaissance arcades, even closer it turns into soft forms – reminiscence of Baroque ornaments. Thus, we obtained a new, dynamic form defined by the perception of the human eye in various ways, depending on the perspective. The front elevation of the building creates an interior of Krakow’s contemporary chambers. This structure framework flows smoothly from the facade into a coffered wooden ceiling that decorates hotel rooms. These beautiful wooden ceilings continue the character of historical Krakow interiors.
We use the most modern and enviromenmetally friendly technology – CLT glued timber construction, which will minimize the construction loads on the historical substance, as well as transfer a significant part of the work from the construction site to the factory where precise prefabricated elements will be produced. New, modern form emerges, which grows out of history and tradition. The division of the structure originates from the lower floors and the lines of the windows flow smoothly into the coffered wooden ceiling. Through a soft, slightly deviating line, which refers to the structures of Gothic and Krakow domes, we obtain a beautiful covering of the gable walls of neighboring tenement houses, while minimizing the scale and height of the building seen from the Powiśle Street.
The Krakow Tenement House near the Wawel Royal Castle defines a completely new quality of the Vistula embankments. This building is extremely innovative and very Krakow-like at the same time. It has a dynamic and variable style depending on the observer’s location, which directly refers to the context of the place – the Wawel Royal Castle and the architecture of the Old Town. It takes advantage of the technological potential of our times, but at the same time it is durable and timeless since it is rooted in tradition. We strongly believe in BXB studio that this is the factor which makes it something more than just another modern building.
After restoring its original condition, the historical tenement house does not fit so well into the present-day frontage of Powiśle Street. Neighboring tenement houses
overwhelm it and create unattractive, disproportionate massive gable walls, which is why we propose an innovative structure. We notice also that in its current state, the ground floor of Powiśle Street is an unattractive and a neglected space. It lacks the city-forming factor, the magnet attracting the interest of passers-by and so-called active ground floor. We suggested the fullest possible opening of historical interiors to the adjacent urban space. By revealing the facade of the ground floor, we create a new “city lounge” that will connect the street space with the commercial interior of the tenement house.
Epol Holding Sp. z o.o
Bogusław Barnaś, Bartłomiej Mierczak, Monika Kalinowska, Aleksandra Gawron, Wojciech Buchta, Urszula Furmanik, Katarzyna Trzepałka, Magdalena Fuchs
Unique Vision Studio Rafał Barnaś, BXB studio Bogusław Barnaś
He graduated from Fachhochschule Muenster in Germany and Cracow University of Technology in Poland. Bogusław founded BXBstudio in December 2009 after working for a number of internationally known practices, including Foster and Partners, Make Architects, Ingarden & Ewy Architekci. Since Febuary 2012 academic employee at Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University (AFMKU) at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts. In 2014 Boguslaw Barnaś was selected as one of 20 world’s best young architectural talent by Wallpaper* and his projects were presented at London Festival of Architecture. In 2015 Barnaś was selected to top 15 best Polish architects under 40 according to Property Design. In 2018 he received Architekci Małopolski 2017 Award – for The Polish Eaves Cottage Design and PLGBC Green Building Awards for the best sustainable design – Eco Warsaw Tower. In 2018 he was selected to top 25 best polish architectural studios according to Property Design.