Race on to save ‘doomed’ building decorated with broken cups and plates
Varsovians are trying to save the unique façade of an old car factory facing imminent demolition.
Covered in broken plates and mugs, the quarter-of-a-kilometer face of the now defunct Żerań car factory in the capital’s Praga district is being hailed as ‘a memento of engineering solutions’.
Due to be replaced by a new residential and business complex, locals in the area are now attempting to preserve the horizontal stripes covering three levels which they say is one of the few, if not last, walls decorated in such a way.
Krzysztof Michalski from the local 'Alliance for Praga' group said: “The complex comprised of factory halls and office buildings built in the 1950s is an example of the functional approach towards city planning, in which each part of the city is dedicated to a separate function, in this case to industry.
“Except for the history of this place and a change in its function also some artistic values will be irretrievably lost, present for instance in the form of the buildings.
“The complex of the Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych factory is a cradle of the Polish automotive industry.
“It is a memento of engineering solutions from the Polish People's Republic [communist Poland].”
With many of the buildings falling into ruin, in July last year an area of 62 hectares was purchased by OKAM, a developer, which is planning to build apartment blocks and commercial space.
The size of the transaction remains a secret, but it is reported to be one of the largest purchases on the domestic commercial real estate market in recent history.
Posting on social media Michalski said: “The biggest loss would be the demolition of the office building at 88/92/94 Jagiellońska Street.
“What distinguishes the building is the facade, and basically the horizontal stripes that separate it, decorated with countless amounts of porceline pressed on three levels into a cement mortar.
“A trained eye will notice pieces of plates, cups and saucers (the latter even in their entirety), which look particularly charming when illuminated by the sun's rays.
“This is probably the only building in Praga decorated with this technique. Unfortunately, it seems that his fate is doomed.”