Saska Kępa Villas

Helena and Szymon Syrkus

For living

House of Helena and Ludwik Karol Krzymuski

12 Walecznych Street, Warsaw

The multi-family house on the corner of Walecznych and Dąbrowicka Streets was built in 1934-37 on the initiative of Helena and Ludwik Karol Krzymuski, a family operating in the mining and factories of Upper Silesia. In their design, the Syrkus applied the five principles of modern architecture formulated by Le Corbusier. The body of the house was partially founded on pillars, giving it a sense of lightness. This separation from the ground is also emphasized by the finishing materials – the light plaster of the upper part contrasts with the dark clinker of the ground floor walls. The composition of the facade is based on the use of a ribbon of horizontal windows. On the flat roof of the building, the architects have designated recreational terraces. The interiors were planned in a free manner, leaving the residents freedom in their arrangement. From the east side, the design is diversified by reinforced concrete and metal pergola columns along the terraces. The building has been preserved in excellent condition to present day – it still boasts, among other things, a wood-finished staircase with an oak veneered balustrade, or a paneled door to the apartments with spherical brass knobs.

Zofia Rosińska House

26 Katowicka Street, Warsaw

The villa at the corner of Walecznych and Katowicka streets is one of the first private residential projects of the Syrkus couple. In its architecture we can find inspiration from the designs of Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. The architects used in this small building a whole range of solutions characteristic to functionalism. A simple block covered with a flat roof is varied by a characteristic bend in the side wall. On the sunny side a terrace was planned on the first floor with decorative plants, and under it – a living area with a huge ribbon window opening the interior of the winter garden located here to the surroundings. The house had two entrances – the main one on the side of Katowicka Street was given an expressive form of reinforced concrete frame with a suspended staircase on a triangular plan, while the second entrance was used for utility purposes and connected the cellar with the ground floor.

Aniela Landau House

8 Estonska Street, Warsaw

The house, or rather the small townhouse of Anela Landau located in Saska Kepa is another example of the Syrkus’ work, which manifests their current interest in the aesthetics of Le Corbusier’s designs. The simple, plastered block of the two upper floors is slightly extended in front of the face of the ground floor, emphasizing its distinctiveness and detaching the building from the ground. Lightness is given to it by ribbon windows running the entire length of the facade, whose articulation reveals internal structural divisions. The walls of the ground floor are finished in a manner that contrasts sharply with the lightweight volume above – they are clad in rough, broken stone of widely varying textures and colors. Smaller double windows were applied here, and the central part was moved back an additional tens of centimeters, emphasizing the symmetry of the design.

Archival photos – Architecture Museum in Wroclaw
Exhibition photos – Katarzyna Średnicka