Kraków boasts of attractive, historic buildings, which can be noticed especially in the city centre. This region is also the most attractive for the potential tenants, looking for a prestigious location and good transportation. However, the neighbourhood of the Old City has largely been put to use, which makes the investors look for other solutions that construction of a new building. In consequence, they make use of existing city terrains, developing their businesses there and having a good impact on the appearance of the buildings. Old, deteriorating buildings stop being unpleasant and start to offer modern, neat spaces, not only residential, but also office, commercial and service.
A historic building – problem or prestige?
The trend of renovating old tenement houses is especially visible in Warsaw. Worth mentioning are for example Le Palais on Próżna 9 street, renovated Dom pod Gryfami or Pałac Młodziejowskiego. In Kraków, a trend of office investors being interested in that kind of real estates can also be notice. Former little supply of these buildings can be connected to the anxiety caused by inevitable problems, waiting for the developer and the main contractor during the renovation.
Some of the historic buildings are on the official list of historic sites, which means that during the whole renovation process, a cooperation with historic sites restorer, watching over cultural heritage of the place, is required. The investor who starts renovation of a building has their own design which they want to realise. There can be problems, if these designs interfere with restorer’s concept, as for example in cases of Kraków’s Forum Hotel or Cracovia Hotel.
If the building does not require consulting the restorer, procedures concerning the project and the restoration are mainly dependent on the aim and the concept of the investor. In most cases, a restoration of the tenement house is planned, with all of the original details preserved and with modern solutions implemented. These are especially difficult to be made, as they have to naturally go together with the historic architecture of the building, and, at the same time, raise the comfort and meet the expectations of potential tenants.
Where history meets modernity
Widok Development Sp. z o.o. company has taken up the difficult task of renovating a tenement house in Kraków, and finally created a modern but stylish place on Rakowicka 8 street. The building contains 14 exclusive apartments, and on the two top storeys there are luxurious split-level duplex apartments. Rakowicka 8 can also interest companies, which are looking for a prestigious, luxurious and unique place in good localisation, but do not need much space. Office spaces are located on the first storey and are composed from units taking up from 150 to 300 m.
The main aims for the investor were bringing the building to its former glory, reconstruction of as much original elements as possible and giving it unique character by means of exposing historic architectural motifs and details, all with cooperation of specialised consultants – comments Adam Mikuliński, Project Manager of AIM Engineering, the company responsible for the renovation, also fulfilling the duties of replacement investor.
History of the building reaches back to 1911, when Dawid Gronner decided to build a corner tenement house on the lot formerly belonging to the garden of rifle association. The effect was a unique object with an impressive, decorative facade.
On the road to perfection
Renovation of that unique tenement hose was not an easy task. The ones trying to fulfil it were a group of experts, who tried to design a change between a residential building and a one, which will include living, service and commercial spaces.
During design works and later, during the realisation, we had to overcome many obstacles connected to the peculiarity of historic buildings. One of them was conforming to current technical and construction regulations, especially the ones concerning fire protection, while at the same time trying to preserve the historic character of the house. An example can be producing expensive systems of removing smoke, evacuative lights and installing fire resistant windows. Thanks to that, it was possible to use the original, fan stairs as an escape route – mentions Adam Mikuliński.
During construction works, performed by the main contractor – Dorimpex company – there were a few surprises which often follow this type of investment. During earthworks, which included deepening of the basements and strengthening the foundations, many times we were forced to modify the base design as a result of existing conditions. To overcome these obstacles, we had to have a cooperation between the designers, the contractor and the investors. It was coordinated by AIM team – stresses Adam Mikuliński.
A spectacular effect
The first impression is made by very decorative, Art Nouveau facade. Inside, impressive and assiduously renovated furnishings, such as authentic door or original tile stoves.
The appeal of the building is not only thanks to historic style, but also to modern solutions, which increase the comfort and make the spaces competitive on contemporary, demanding commercial real estate market. In the building a 8 person elevator was installed (diversified by mirrors made look old and classic tiles) and a high quality CCTV system, enabling a daylong monitoring.
The crown of the AIM Engineering team’s work is bringing former glory to Art Nouveau tenement house on Rakowicka 8 street, which now has been improved by modern security and comfort systems. The building is a noticeable, corner one, located on a very heavily-trafficked street in the centre of Kraków – sums up Adam Mikuliński.
Immobillo Group company is responsible for the commercialisation of the building.