Tenement houses on Jaworzyńska Street

Helena and Szymon Syrkus

For living

Tenement houses on Jaworzyńska Street

6, 9, 11 Jaworzyńska Street, Warsaw

In the second half of the 1930s Helena and Szymon Syrkus designed four tenement houses on Jaworzyńska Street. One of them has not survived to present day – the Scherers’ house at no. 13/15, built in a skeleton construction. Buildings that survived the war are two houses at no. 9 and 11 for the Paperboard Industry Society, built in 1936-37, and the luxurious Stamirski townhouse at no. 11, built in 1938-39.

The buildings at no. 9 and 11 were constructed in a ferro-concrete structure, and their facades retain an identical design. The expression of the form is built primarily by the shape of the street and plots – located on a curve, the buildings with concaved facades emphasize this treatment with horizontal lines into which windows and evenly spaced balconies are placed. The side façade of the tenement at no. 11 received an individual design with an entrance portal and a vertical opening in the axis of the building filled with glass bricks.

In addition to its reinforced concrete structure, The Stamirski townhouse at no. 6, offered another non-standard solution, which was sliding partition walls. Despite the building’s location in a dense downtown area, the authors of the project managed to incorporate all five principles of Le Corbusier’s modern architecture. By using columns and freeing the facades from their load-bearing function, it was possible to cut them with horizontal strips of windows across the entire width of the building. The receding first floor clad in dark brick provides a backdrop for the slender pillars. Moreover, the building is crowned by a flat roof, and the open plans of the apartments allowed for flexible arrangement. Balconies on the front wall with characteristically curved balustrades are an eye-catching detail.

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