Work with preservationist – battle or peaceful cooperation?


Wrocław Business Park 3
Wrocław Business Park 3
Building of an office in historical structures is related to necessity of cooperation between investor and preservationist. Is it a tough nut to crack for investors? And how actually do the relations between preservationist and investor look like in practice?

Revitalization of historical structures by investors operating on the office market is currently a very common phenomenon. This trend is noticeable not only in the capital of Poland, but also in regional cities. Small offices in historical tenement houses as well as buildings or even office complexes located in industrial properties are one of the most often used forms by office investors, thanks to which new life is brought to historical walls.


Realization of an office investment of such type in buildings is not an easy task, especially when a certain structure is signed to the register of monuments. In such case, cooperation with preservationist is necessary during the whole process of design and construction works, and it is sometimes problematic. Situations when the first role is played by the conflict of interest” between investor of an office project realized in the registered structure and preservationist often arouse great interest in media. The conflict may occur in a situation when requirements of the second part interfere with investor’s concept. However, it does not mean that this cooperation cannot be conducted in a trouble-free way and the result of the agreement will be investment that emphasizes and maintains historical values of a certain structure. The example of such a project is the Wrocław Business Park 3 complex located on the 10.5-hectare plot situated in the north-eastern part of Wrocław in the Psie Pole district. The investment is located in buildings of the former PZL Hydral factory under the protection of preservationist. The cooperation of our company with preservationist was conducted perfectly – judges Adam Galewski, BFF Investments Poland, which owns the Wrocław investment. Undoubtedly, it required a lot of consultations and devising different solutions from both sides, but thanks to it we could applied proven solutions accepted earlier while realizing other stages of the investment – adds. Efforts of the company resulted in e.g. office building which is characterized by timeless post-industrial elevation made from natural brick.


How does it look in practice?

There are two most common kinds of cooperation between investor and preservationist in the area of creation of an office project. Firstly, the structure is listed in the register of monuments. Secondly, the area for planned office is under the aegis of preservationist. Consultations with the preservationist are required also in other situations. The example is a small office building Staromiejska 13a, which is being realized in effect of revitalization of the historical Młyn Parowy. This property is not listed in the register. It is only present in the historical and preservationist documentation Monuments of industry and technics on the area of Katowice, which imposed a duty on the investor to conduct consultations with the city preservationist. 


From the very beginning

The cooperation between investor and preservationist most frequently starts in the moment of obtaining a building permit. Customarily, if a certain area has a Spatial Development Plan, the investor obtains a building permit and information whether the structure is under the protection of preservationist. If so, the next stage should consists in asking for opinion about their investment, including all regulations, limitations or advice – says Adam Galewski. From that moment, the investor is obliged to cooperate with preservationist in the whole process of realization of their office building.


While keeping guard over cultural heritage, preservationist may immediately impose certain limitations on a project. First and foremost, they concern look of structures as well as their coherence with the surrounding. Moreover, the coloring and architectural accents are also important – adds Adam Galewski.


Cooperation of preservationist with investor of office investment realized in historical walls is not easy. It requires making of compromise and agreements between both sides. However, the results of such cooperation are beneficial not only to investor, but also to preservationist.


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