Quality of social space in selected contemporary multifamily housing complexes in Poland’s three biggest cities
PublisherInstitute of Physics (IOP)
Rights accessOpen Access
The investment boom in multi-family residential buildings observable in Polish metropolises at the turn of the 20th century seems to have slowed down. Due to the growing difficulty in obtaining and repaying mortgages, potential customers have become more demanding. Users’ needs come first once again, including the need to dwell in beautiful surroundings. Developers implementing projects of multi-family housing estates in different scales more and more often pay attention not only to the floor area, but also to the aesthetics of new buildings. Many housing estates put into use in Poland in recent years are as good in this respect as their contemporary western counterparts. Quality of workmanship and finishing standards of buildings and their immediate surroundings increase, too. This study covers examples of new housing investments, regarded as prestigious, from Poland’s three biggest cities (Warsaw, Cracow, Lodz), implemented in 10 recent years. The goal was to verify by means of a comparative analysis whether their architectural quality has changed compared to previous years. Does it mean that beautiful residential architecture comes into being? Is it a common phenomenon? Is life comfortable in beautiful, prestigious housing estates? Do they form real, efficient habitats, or only bedroom communities, or are they another type of investment? What are the relations of contemporary multi-family estates with the urban tissue in light of the growing spatial chaos in Poland’s biggest cities? According to the study results, in recent years Poland saw more and more multi-family housing estates, attractive in their contemporary form, furnished with well-tended and carefully arranged social – predominantly green – spaces. Alas, due to a limited number of services they are usually closed enclaves, often fenced. Frequently they lack sufficient services necessary for proper functioning of the housing environment: trade, education (nursery and primary schools), healthcare, basing on the existing overloaded city infrastructure. Therefore, their contribution to building of sustainable spatial structures is limited, not to mention such obvious drawbacks as lack of continuity of the public domain in the form of public greenery systems, pedestrian routes, or squares. Responsibility for this situation goes not only to designers and investors of such complexes, but mostly to local authorities, whose goal should be to maintain spatial order in cities. These are still, however, single islands on the sea of mediocre dense residential architecture. Growing transport-related problems result from scarcity of appropriate road infrastructure and limited municipal investments in public transport and education / sports services, which do not balance the increase of developers’ residential investments. One of the basic causes of this situation is the aforementioned crisis of spatial planning, observable in the three cities included in the study.
CitationGyurkovich, M.; Sotoca, A. Quality of social space in selected contemporary multifamily housing complexes in Poland’s three biggest cities. "IOP conference series: materials science and engineering", 2019, vol. 471, núm. 8, p. 1-9.