An exclusive residential development inspired by the architecture of Żoliborz will be constructed at ul. Gdańska 5/7 in the district of Żoliborz in Warsaw. City councillors passed a resolution authorising the construction of 38 apartments, new green areas, commercial premises and ecological solutions. With the local residents in mind, the investor will build public parking spaces in a garage hall at a cost of PLN 4 million.
The project involves the construction of two multi-family residential buildings between Gdańska, Bieniewicka, Księdza Zygmunta Trószyńskiego and Kolektorska streets in Warsaw’s Żoliborz district. The development was requested by Greenfields on behalf of the landowners.
“Over the years, the concept has undergone numerous changes in order to best respond to the needs of residents and comments made by urban activists,” stresses Aleksandra Wołodźko, CEO of Greenfields.
As expected, the investor decided to reduce the number of apartments by more than a half – the original proposal was to build 100 units. The buildings will also be significantly lower – the development has been lowered from 21.5 metres to 13 metres. The resolution authorising the investment was passed by the Warsaw City Council during its session on 8 July.
The main objective was to design architecture that would best reflect the language of early modernism, characteristic of the pre-war buildings of Żoliborz. That is why the design was entrusted to the well-known architect Artur Chołdzyński (who designed, among other things, the award-winning Wilson Square metro station). The façades of the buildings will be reminiscent of the long frontages built along the streets that are characteristic of Żoliborz. They will be minimalist, with a timeless appeal and made of grey cement brick and plaster.
Greenery in courtyards and on roofs
The investment at ul. Gdańska will be complemented by attractive recreational spaces and commercial premises.
“An important place in the design is occupied by greenery, with particular emphasis on the assumptions along ul. Gdańska and inside the quarter,” says Artur Chołdzyński. The greenery to be developed accounts for 68 per cent of the total plot area, with greenery on native soil accounting for 12 per cent, and greenery developed on the roofs of buildings and on the ceiling of the underground garage accounting for 56 per cent. This means that the ratio of the so-called biologically active area will be 0.4. A public garden will be created in the courtyard, and two rows of trees are planned to be planted: along the frontage on the side of ul. Gdańska and in the courtyard along the garden façade.
Green terraces have been designed on the roofs of the buildings, some of which will be made available for use by all residents. In the courtyard, on the other hand, two trees are planned to be planted in native soil which, thanks to proper exposure and plenty of space around them, will be able to reach enormous sizes qualifying them for eventual inclusion in the group of so-called monumental trees. The area will also be decorated with shrubs and perennials, and the walls of the buildings will be overgrown with ivy.
Neighbouring residents will benefit from a new playground which will also be adapted to the needs of children with disabilities. Moreover, the existing exits from ul. Gdańska and the drainage canal of the Rudawka river, part of which is located in the investment area, will be redeveloped. Bicycle racks have been designed in the bicycle storage rooms accessible from the courtyard and in the arcades at the entrances to the service points – for a total of 146 bicycles; a parking area for cargo bikes is also provided.
Cars will go underground
To meet the expectations of the local community, which is interested in maintaining the current parking function on the site, the investor will additionally build 37 public parking spaces for PLN 4 million.
“These will be located in a covered garage and will be for use by residents of neighbouring properties. Żoliborz residents will be able to park their cars in comfortable conditions,” stresses Aleksandra Wołodźko.
With the environment in mind. Rain gardens and grey water recycling
The architect has incorporated water-saving solutions into the design. All rainwater will be managed within the site boundaries. For this purpose, retention and drainage devices such as bioretention basins, boxes and drains and absorption wells will be used, as well as rain gardens and ponds. In addition, rainwater will be stored in retention tanks and used to water the greenery.
These are not the only solutions designed with the environment in mind. The design provides for the installation of a grey water recovery facility.
At present, the area in ul. Gdańska does not present the district in a good light. The development of plots which will be worthy of Żoliborz is not facilitated by a zoning plan that does not respond to the needs of the district, one which has not been updated for 19 years.