In 1930, soon after the first stage of the Port Cold Store construction was finished, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce began the state enterprise of building specialised cold stores in Gdynia. In the part of the fishing port which was just put into operation near the English Quay, the construction of a complex of buildings began. It was supposed to support the development of the Polish marine fishing industry and trade in its products.
The Fish Cold Store Complex and Market designed by Juliusz Mrozowski MSc consisted of three, clearly separated parts of the body of the building: 1. One-storey auction hall 2. the proper cold store and 3. the hall with the machines and ice factory as well as employee’s apartments. The asymmetrical combination of the irregular elements of the Fish Cold Store and Market building’s body with a three-storey “tower”, which was a dominant element, gave the structure an avant-garde functionalist character. The entire structure was complemented by banded arrangement of windows and bright, smoothly plastered elevations. In 1945, the Cold Store and the Fish Market were seriously damaged by the retreating German troops. During the post-war reconstruction of the complex (1948–1952) the most damaged part, the one-storey Fish Market was extended by six floors. This way, a new seven-storey Cold Store no. 1 came into being. The architecture of the new cold store continues the interwar solutions through clear references to modernism.
As a result of a rapid development of marine fishing industry and an increase of the Gdynia fishing port’s significance as well as a growing demand for fresh fish from the inland areas, in the mid-30s of the 20th century another building in the complex on the Fishing Pier was constructed – the Herring Cold Store which was located in the line with the Fish Cold Store and Market (between the English Quay and today’s Maciej Płażyński’s Street). The cold store was designed by the Association of Railway and Construction Works TOR SA from Warsaw. The rectangular body of the building was based on a 35 x 35 m floor plan, with a distinctive outline of the walls’ and ceiling frame construction which was noticeable in the elevations. Therefore, the combination of the textures of the reinforced concrete frame and the ceramic face brick filling of the surfaces between them are almost all the architectural solutions applied in the Herring Cold Store. Functionally, the interiors’ layout was determined by the unique purpose of the building. They were planned in a way which provides the best possible insulation for the chambers inside it. It was done by locating them in the centre of every floor and surrounding them with a passageway.
When it comes to style, the architecture of the Herring Cold Store is one of Gdynia’s port’s most interesting examples of constructivism – an avant-garde modernist trend which promotes the unity of construction and form. The Herring Cold Store was not significantly damaged during the War and German occupation or during the German troops campaigns destroying the port before leaving it in 1945. The construction of three additional storeys was conducted in 1960-1965 based on plans prepared in the 30s of the 20th c. After the vertical extension the facility was called Cold Store no. 2.
In the post-war period, the buildings were used by “Dalmor”, a state-owned company founded in 1946. Currently, there is a plan to restore the Fish Cold Store Complex which is out of use and to adapt it to new functions, as a complement to the recent building development of the Gdynia port and soon also a new part of the Gdynia city centre.