In 1935-1936, a tenement house was built at the junction of Abrahama and Stefana Batorego Streets in Gdynia. It was constructed according to the design by an architect from Cracow who had studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Lviv Polytechnic – Edward Fuhrschmied. The luxurious, four-storey, corner building was commissioned by traders of Jewish descent – Izrael Reich and Wolf Birnbaum.
Fuhrschmied supervised the tenement house’s construction and later moved into the apartment no. 7. The company Inżynierowie O. i E. Ungerowie i Jakubowicz was comissioned to build it.
The building’s location on the corner allowed the architect to design an interesting body of the building. The slightly overhang, glazed in corner – on the Abrahama Street side there was a large living room window and a winter garden on the Batorego Street side. In the 30s, winter gardens were popular in the south of the country, especially in Katowice and Cracow. In Gdynia, this was one of the first uses of this spatial solution. The bright (stucco enriched with an addition of mica) and simple form of the elevation diversified with a glass-panelled, “non-material” corner part was complemented by the darker ground floor with slabs which imitated plaster. They were finished with straight grooves which were one of the most popular decorative motifs on Gdynia’s modernist buildings’ elevations.
Three apartments were designed on each of the building’s floors except for the ground floor which accommodated 4 business premises and a gateway to the yard. Innovative functional solutions were introduced here – a skylight which let light into the bathrooms and galleries with shafts for taking the rubbish out for every apartment.
The tenement house had wiring, water, plumbing and central heating systems as well as gas fittings and a lift. The most valuable elements of the tenement house have survived until today: the composition and decor of the elevation as well as the staircase decor.
The commemorative plaque with the name of the architect and the year of construction set in the tenement house’s portal is also worth attention. It is an example of architect’s commemoration, which is an exception in Gdynia.
The floor, the wall facing and the three-coloured grey, black and white terazzo stairs are the staircase’s decorative elements. The metal hand-rails and the stairs’ blustrade – with smooth plaster on the side of the clearance between the hand-rails and ornaments on the stairs’ side – are original too. Black and grey ground plaster with a grooved ornament on the border was used here. It is all matched up in colour to the flooring on ground floor and the landings. The inspiration with neoplasticism is easy to notice here. The “Cyklop” peepholes and the “Bracia Lubert” knobs on the apartment doors are original fittings as well.
On 12.03.2009, the building was entered into the Pomeranian Voivodeshi’s Register of Munuments under the number A-1845.