Delightful ‘little corset’ tiles showcase rescued fragments of Warsaw architecture
An Archive of Warsaw Detail has been launched to showcase rescued fragments of the Polish capital’s architecture.
The online museum brings together architectural bits and pieces collected during renovation works – both inside buildings and on their façades.
The fragments were rescued by the Office of the Warsaw Conservator of Monuments, which oversees conservation projects in the city.
As the Office puts it: “The details co-create the narrative about the changing architecture of the capital. Some of them are evidence of high craftsmanship and construction art, others are a reminder of technologies that have long been out of use.”
The fragments offer precious examples of Warsaw’s architecture over the centuries through details from door handles to tiles.
Among the items in the Archive is a fragment of the fencing around the statue of Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, which was obtained during collection works.
The collection also includes a slate tile from the original roof of the tenement house at 21 Poznańska Street in the city centre, a rare example of natural slate roofing in Warsaw, and decorative floor tiles from the tenement house at 12 Targowa Street, in the city’s eastern Praga district.
The tiles, which are white and dark yellow in this case, are known as “gorseciki” (little corsets) because of their shape.
The Office urges people to renovate the historical tiles, rather than throw them out when redesigning their spaces.
It notes: “Currently, corsets are very often destroyed during renovation and replaced with modern tiles. Unfortunately, they can be found in rubbish bins and in rubble containers.”
“During renovation, it is worth considering the possibility of replacing the damaged fragments of the floors and thus saving this beautiful, disappearing detail,” it adds.
In addition to displaying the fragments, the Archive will help to preserve Warsaw’s architectural heritage.
Items in the collection will be stored safely and undergo preliminary conservation.
Some of the items, such as tiles, could be used during future renovation projects.