Lofts in former factory in Cz瘰tochowska Street in Bia造stok

A. Pankiewicz

The work with historic buildings is a difficult task that requires much knowledge and experience as well as untypical design and working solutions. New problems that need a non-standard approach appear in almost every stage of the development.


In both the buildings the same engineering and material solutions have been applied. The existing strip foundations made of field stone were reinforced with a bonding agent and encased on both sides with monolithic reinforced concrete. During the visual inspection of the existing foundations carried out by a certified surveyor it turned out that the existing horizontal insulation underneath the walls, made of soot mixed with grease, is still in good condition and serviceable.

During the rehabilitation works it was attempted to use the original structure of the building as much as possible, and that is why the internal load-bearing walls and the parts of the external walls that needed to be filled in or restructured were made of solid ceramic brick taken from the demolished components which were not used for other purposes.

The roof shape was changed: the new design included semicircular lucarnes picking out the division of the elevation and giving more light to the lofts. The slope windows in both the surfaces of the roofs have been placed there for the lighting purpose, too.

The walls between the living units were made of aerated concrete units, and the partition walls of gas concrete and gypsum boards.

The floors between storeys were made of Ackermann hollow masonry units, and the ceiling above the attic is of wood. In a part of Building No. 9 the existing brick infill floors have been preserved based on a prior report on the floor structure and load capacity. During the conservation works on the floors an inscription reading BOCHUM 1888 was found on one of the steel beams. It probably refers to the origin of the beams.

The rafter framing was made as a purlin and tie-beam structure of wood. The roof was insulated with mineral wool and covered with pantile sheeting. Also additional thermal insulation of polypropylene mats with air bubbles covered on both sides with aluminium foil was made. It is to protect the attic against excessive heating in summer and to restrict the loss of heat in winter.

The external walls were insulated with the use of the light wet method and plastered according to the colour scheme design approved by the Provincial Conservation Officer. Only the front elevation and fragments of the other elevations (heads, cornices) of the 9B building will be finished with yellow and red brick-like tiles, which would allude to the original appearance of the elevation.

The window joinery has retained the original divisions, and moreover, decorative historizing elements have been added to the joinery. The doors were made of solid wood.

The passage of the tenement No. 9 has got a new steel entrance gate, the form of which alludes to the period balcony balustrades.

The final goal is to enclose the whole area encompassed by the housing developments at the junction of W堯kiennicza and Cz瘰tochowska streets in order to create a quiet enclave in the very centre of the city. But to create a place of excellent functional and aesthetic quality, taking advantage of the unique location among historic developments it is to renovate the other buildings which make up the former factory complex as soon as possible.