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100 lat, 100 lat... / Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday... - Justyn Oboładze

The sound installation on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floor of the tenement at 4, Nowogrodzka St. consists of selected interviews with people whose lives have been associated with this building for the last hundred years—since the house’s construction in 1914. The conversations were recorded in the spring and summer of 2015 by Justyn Oboładze, who also authored the texts contained in a publication sponsored by the owner of the house—the Nieporęcka LLC. The publication presents not only the history of the tenement and its inhabitants, but also plans for the nearest future of this property, officially referred to as

The first owner of the 100-year-old tenement at 4, Nowogrodzka St. in Warsaw was Rudolf Wilczyński, a building contractor who built the house for his own family. Designed at the architectural studio of Leon Wolski, who also designed Warsaw’s early highrise buildings, the tenement on Nowogrodzka St. was the crowning achievement of Wilczyński’s contracting career. He was a man known not only for his sense of humour, but also for good taste, which is reflected in the house’s style and subtle architectural details. The façade was designed in the spirit of a highly modernised Empire style with elements of early French classicism. It contains fluted pilasters with stylised capitals and flattened sculpted baskets with flowers. The whole is topped with a triangular pediment decorated with an oval disc and rose garlands. In the construction of the tenement, state-of-the-art technologies (including Klein floors made of steel joists with brick infill) and top quality materials were used. This is one of the reasons why the building has withstood two world wars and is still preserved in very good condition. In the interwar period, there were shops on the ground floor level and two flats on each of the higher floors. Wilczyński with his wife and daughter occupied apartment no. 4 on the second floor.

Following World War II, the house was nationalised and it was only in the 1990s that Wilczyński’s heirs regained the property. In 2014 it was purchased by Nieporęcka LLC, which renamed the tenement as No4 and began to restore the building to its former glory, also its historical functions. The new developer has invited Warsaw City’s Historic Preservation Officer, as well as artistic, cultural, and architectonic circles to collaborate on the restoration process, breathing new life into this house. The tenement’s prewar atmosphere is now enhanced by the presence of an Adler Vestroyer, on loan from a historical car renovation company.

The official reopening of No4, now containing restaurants and luxury shops on the ground floor as well as twelve 160-square-metre apartments on floors 1 to 6, has been planned for 2016, possibly before the 59th Warsaw Autumn Festival.