On 8th October 1929, Gdynia’s town staroste issued a permission to build a tenement house for a lawyer from Starogard, Leon Stankiewicz and his wife Wanda which was designed by Włodzimierz Prochaska and Tadeusz Jędrzejewski, the graduates of the Warsaw University of Technology.
Less than 18 months later, in February 1931, near Kamienna Góra, in Świętojańska Street which at that time was not developed yet, a four-storey tenement house with business premises and a gateway in the ground floor was put in use. The works were supervised by Eugeniusz Maciejewski, a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology (1928).
This building was constructed for profit. It had two staircases and there were three large apartments on each floor – the 5-room middle one and the 3-room and 4-room side ones. The tenement’s walls were made of bricks and it had a wooden roof.
The 38-metre front elevation which was the city centre’s longest was enriched with bay windows on a trapezium plan, which was a reference to the Paris designs by Michel Roux-Spitz. In Wanda and Leon Stankiewicz’s tenement house, the bay windows were arranged symmetrically, in the third, eight and thirteenth axis of the façade. Together with the lines of windows connected by a ledge moulding, they create a harmonious composition and give rhythm to the entire building.
The elevation’s composition is very simple – in the building’s residential part there is a finishing with a smooth warm beige stucco with bay windows which are several tones brighter. The commercial ground floor is decorated with sand-coloured masonry plaster which imitates stone panels. In the middle of the ground floor, there is a wide arch gateway with a wooden gate. The original sunshade mechanism in the windows of the shops on the ground floor is worth paying attention to.
The staircase decor is dominated by shades of grey: light-grey terrazzo stairs, openwork light-grey metal balustrade with a wooden handrail, rectangular landings covered with square off-white tiles. On the walls, there is a light-grey dado, with a distinct rough bottom part texture.
The original lift produced by Roman Groniowski’s company is the staircase’s predominant feature which organizes its space. The lift was installed in a metal, dove-grey openwork metal shaft in the clearance between the handrails of the stairs. The wooden, glazed in doors with a high, glazed in transom window divided into 8 sections are also original. They separate the hallway from the staircase. Its floor’s finishing is original too. It consists of square off-white, yellow and red terracotta tiles arranged in a simple geometric way. A more complex composition of the same three tile colours decorates the floor in one of the ground floor business premises.
Wanda and Leon Stankiewicz's Tenement House