Kite (Warsaw)

Article

July 5, 2022

Latawiec - a historic housing estate located in the Śródmieście district in Warsaw, built in the 1950s. Eleonora Sekrecka was the main designer of the architectural layout, the area of ​​which is approximately 18 hectares. The estate was a complement to the Marszałkowska Residential District and is also called MDM III. Some of its elements refer to the style of the Renaissance. The central street of the estate, on which an octagonal square has been arranged, is Wyzwolenia Avenue.

History and characteristics

The estate was built in the years 1953–1957 and was supplemented in later years. It was built on the site of buildings almost completely destroyed during World War II, on the so-called Stanisławów Axis. They are considered part of the Marszałkowska Residential District (MDM) and are referred to as MDM III. The estate is located between Na Rozdrożu Square, Trasa Łazienkowska (Al. Armii Ludowej) and Marszałkowska, Mokotowska and Koszykowa Streets, within the area of ​​the Municipal Information System Śródmieście Południowy. Its area is approximately 18 ha. It is built on a pentagonal plan, resembling a kite (hence its name). The author of the design was Eleonora Sekrecka in cooperation with Stanisław Jankowski, Jan Knothe and Zygmunt Stępiński from the Miastoprojekt Stolica studio. The team was supplemented by, among others architects: Burdyńska, Idzikowski, Jarczewski, Jezierski, Stanisławski, Szulecka, Teitelbaum, Thor and Załęski. The inspiration was the architecture of the French Renaissance, in particular the Paris Vosges Square. The aims of the design were to recreate a fragment of the Stanisławów Axis system and connect it with the nearby green areas: Ujazdowski and Łazienki parks and the Botanical Garden. Przedsiębiorstwo Budownictwa Miejskiego MDM was responsible for the construction of the estate. The buildings have six or seven floors. Against the background of the housing estates built at that time, the flats were taller and larger. They were equipped with built-in furniture and storage spaces. The floors were oak or beech. Despite the fact that Latawiec was built by Zakład Osiedli Robotniczych (ZOR), in practice it was intended mainly for distinguished people: managers, employees associated with the ruling party and directors of state-owned enterprises. A total of 2,794 apartments were built. Most of the estate was ready for living in 1955, but until 1957 finishing works were still carried out, including with plastering the facade and laying pavements. The last building designed by Sekrecka was put into use in 1962. In 1960, two additional residential buildings were built by Zofia Fafius on the side of Na Rozdrożu Square. They were erected on the plan of a section of a circle and representative apartments were designed in them. There is a kindergarten and two schools in the estate. On the ground floors of some buildings, service and commercial premises are planned, especially along ul. Marszałkowska. In the vicinity of Plac Zbawiciela, there was the "Salus" diner, which at the time of its opening was the only facility in Warsaw with a menu for people who adhered to certain types of health diets. A two-screen "Luna" cinema was also opened here (in unrealized plans there was another one), and the "Guliwer" Puppet Theater found its seat here. Apart from the second cinema, the planned Polish Army theater at Na Rozdrożu Square, two additional kindergartens, three residential buildings and a dormitory were never realized. The sculptures designed in the Fine Arts Studio at ul. Lwowska, which were to decorate the main square of the estate. Until the second half of the 1960s, the buildings were complemented by pre-war tenement houses. There are 14 air-raid shelters in the basement of the buildings.

Architecture and its criticism

The architecture of the estate differs to some extent from the rest of the Marszałkowska Dzielnica Mieszkaniowa z