The building which accommodates the City Hall today was designed in 1934 by Roman Piotrowski for the Office Worker Insurance Company (PL: Zakład Ubezpieczeń Pracowników Umysłowych). However, it was completed in the next two years for the Social Insurance Company. Over the years, the building served various functions and was the seat of many institutions, public offices, plants and offices. Since 1952, it was the seat of the Polish Ocean Lines which is why it is commonly referred to by the Polish abbreviation of this name.
Piotrowski’s building also went down in history thanks to Cafe Bałtyk which for many years was the city’s night and cultural life centre. Zygmunt Cywiński organised the Thursday Nights in this very café. They were dedicated to art, music and literature and featured guests like Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, Melchior Wańkowicz or Maria Dąbrowska.
The buildings architectural composition was based on the combination of structures of different heights which gave it a geometrical as well as really dynamic character. Above all, it is emphasized by the rounded part of the building which, together with the elevation’s glazing, is a distinctive element of both the design itself and the style. The glazings have the form of ribbon windows which run along the building’s entire length. The elevations were finished with smooth light limestone tiles which create an interesting contrast with a part of the ground floor which is finished with dark granite. The iron gate on the side of 10 Lutego Street was given an analogous colour. It was constructed of small, connected circles which made up an nice, openwork veil.
The architectural form and the building’s finishing corresponds to the Social Insurance Company Residential Buildings designed by the same architect. The inhabitants of Gdynia treat the design itself as one of the city’s architectural marks.