The technical documentation for the Tobacco Warehouse in Gdynia was completed in 1930, under the name “The Design of the Tobacco Raw Material Warehouse in Gdynia Port” by Stefan Szyller. The architectural character of the Polish Tobacco Monopoly Warehouse from the turn of the 20s and 30s of the 20th century represents a form of modernised classicism. Though today, the brick face of the elevation is painted and its original symbolism was not reconstructed after World War II, the former Tobacco Warehouse remains one of the best preserved historic facilities from the interwar period in the port which were not transformed by subsequent redevelopments. During the construction, which was completed in the same year (1930) by the F. Skąpski and Company Construction Office and Engineering Company SA, the five storey warehouse which was the main part of facility, was completed. The two three-storey wings, which can be seen in the design, were connected to the main structure with passages. Offices, the staff’s apartments and smaller warehouses were supposed to be there, however, these parts were never completed. The Polish Tobacco Monopoly was the investor behind the magnificent Tobacco Warehouse which was also referred to as “temporary”. It was constructed in the second line of buildings on the Polish Quay.
As it was located at a certain distance from the quay, the warehouse was designed for long-term storage, sorting and fractioning of the tobacco raw material which was imported for the Monopoly’s production plant from England, the USA as well as French and Italian colonies.
The design was approved by the head of the Polish Tobacco Monopoly Department and Władysław Szewernowski MSc of the Port of Gdynia Construction Office in the Maritime Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on 26th June 1930.
The designer, Stefan Szyller, made references to the Polish renaissance and baroque which were typical of his architectural work. However, he used little decoration or detail on the solid base of the elevation and the reinforced-concrete frame structure which then was considered modern.
In the design of the Gdynia Tobacco Warehouse as well as in the designs of the other warehouses for the Polish Tobacco Monopoly, a reinforced concrete frame was used and the elevations were left unplastered. This made the outline of the structure grid more noticeable. It was partly glazed and partly covered with decorative face brick. Apart from that, a decorative, geometric, rhombus pattern of dark, overturned bricks was applied in the designs.
A darker colour outlines the main axis and the corner structures as well as the upper floor of the warehouse. The classic composition is complemented by the rhombus ornaments made of dark, coloured bricks (overburned brick) which is integrated with the brick face of the particular parts of the elevation. However, finally, this decoration was not completed. It might have been because of its historical character (references to Gothic architecture) or, less likely, due to material shortages.