The investment “Nowa Stajnia” envisages transformation of the existing economic building into a modern work place. How the idea on such investment originated?
We have to earn a living somehow. In the past, before the war, it used to be a large farm. After the war, our wealth dwindled and my parents could only run a small horticultural farm, which helped them to survive and earn money. I took over this place at the end of the 70-ties and after the end of communism, I decided to end the horticultural business because it was simply unprofitable on such a small area. My ambition was to maintain the court, especially that my parents and grandparents managed to save it in hard times such as wars, communism, etc. Unfortunately, the maintenance of the building is related to big financial outlays.
However, we are very attached to this house, for my family has been living there for more than 100 years and my children are now the fifth generation. It would be inconceivable to me to divide this building into smaller apartments, to rent them, or even to sell them. Thus, we had to find another source of incomes. The lease of usable premises, especially offices, seems to be the best idea for me. The former economic buildings are situated in close proximity to the house and thus I would not like to intend them for such activity which generates a very big traffic, such as restaurant, hotel, or apartments. The offices, in turn, operate from early morning till late afternoon and evening hours, and the work does not cause big noise. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that the office would be the best solution. Additionally, I have the experience, for I have been engaged in lease since the end of the 80-ties. I started to rent my first premises in that period and I can see how prosperous it is right now. You need to have the capital at first and you have to constantly maintain the building, but the incomes are satisfactory.
You mentioned that you would not like to intend the building for a hotel or a restaurant because it is situated in close proximity to your family house. The garden, however, is to be shared with tenants of this office. Are you concerned with the possible threats that could disturb your privacy and coziness of domesticity?
No, I am not. Quite the opposite, to be honest. We are very pleased to make our garden available to other people, after the earlier consultancy, of course. There is room for many people inside. I do not think that the future tenants would like to necessarily benefit from the part of the garden which is placed really close to our house, the part where we spend our time most eagerly. We are to make another part of the garden available for them, though. Our lawn is vast and it serves as a place for any kind of sport. My children did a small pitch for beach volleyball, which can be also intended for the purpose of potential tenants. I remember that some employees, who were keen golfers, practiced the hitting on that lawn, some of them used to run or walk there. Additionally, I placed some chairs, benches and tables in front of one of the buildings with the biggest part of greenery so that people could go outside and breathe some fresh air during a break.
What inspired you to devise a project which envisages the use of the old economic development and transform it into an office?
I have always known that this substance is good enough to transform it into an office. The direct inspiration for me were the office centers in England, known as office courtyard. My friend, Piotr Chlapowski, an architect who has been running an architectural office in England for years, created such concept for me. He also suggested a reference to the style which develops in England and maintaining the setting of the existing building, their cubature. Moreover, he suggested me to complete the development with a small architecture so that there would be only a cark park in front of the office. We wanted to perform a place, where it is possible to go outside during fine weather, for instance, to continue business tasks outside the building and breathe some fresh air.
Are there any courtyard investments in Poland, or Nowa Stajnia is to be the first one?
Naturally, I do not know all investments in Poland, but, to be honest, I have never seen such a design in our country. Various residential buildings or factories are adopted into offices. However, I think that there are few buildings developed into offices, which are located in the city and which have a vast park. In similar conditions, but on a smaller scale, the Józef Czapski museum was established in Krakow at Piłsudskiego Street. The newly created pavilion is surrounded with greenery, which is very pleasant to visitors.
To whom do you address the offices in Nowa Stajnia?
Undoubtedly, the offices are addressed to a special client, not a big corporation or large call centers. I believe that they could be intended for a headquarters of a big company or for a legal office, architectural studio, etc. This place is not for a mass client or business activity which generates traffic.
How the interior of Nowa Stajnia is to look like? Do you plan the division into offices, space for free arrangement, or rather open space?
I would like to perform the interior of Nowa Stajnia specially for a particular client. I do not know who it is going to be, but I know from my previous experiences that everyone has different expectations. Thus, I cannot specify the arrangement of the interior until a tenant is to show up and present me their demands. I expect that people interested in my offer would have a concept of their arrangement of the office. After the consultancy with my client, I am going to prepare a project, which is consistent with a present trend and which is to serve people and create as good working conditions as possible.