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Warsaw. Hotel Sobieski may change color. The scaffolding has already been erected

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By one of the walls of the Sobieski Hotel, workers erected scaffolding, which is to be used to repaint the iconic, pastel façade. The current color scheme is to be replaced by white and grey. Against such a turn of events is, among others, the office of the Warsaw Conservator of Monuments, which has applied for entering the object in the register of monuments.

At the end of January, we reported that the owner of the Sobieski Hotel was planning to modernize it. At that time, we unofficially learned that one of its elements was to be repainted on the facade, which assumed the loss of the famous colors that were a symbol of the 1990s. as a sign of those times.

A month ago, visualizations of what the hotel might look like after repainting appeared on Facebook. The Ochocianie Neighbors association got to the graphics. “We present visualizations, commissioned by the owner by the C13 Architektura Applied studio from Łódź. To our knowledge, they were created several years ago. However, they were officially attached to the official notification of planned works in July 2022” – members of the association wrote on social media. The published visualizations show the building maintained in white and gray colors. However, there is no certainty that this is the final version of the changes prepared by the Radisson Blu network.

The capital’s conservator of monuments: a very bad decision

On Tuesday, workers appeared in front of the hotel building and began to set up scaffolding. Ochocianie Neighbors learned from employees that the works will include changing the color scheme. On Wednesday, our flying reporter Mateusz Szmelter went to the place.

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– Scaffolding has been set up at the back of the hotel, on Tarczyńska Street. The structure is already standing almost the entire height and width of this wall. The work is in progress, the workers pass each other scaffolding elements, stabilizers, reinforcements, and assemble ladders. The paint has not yet started to move, reports Szmelter.

For a comment on what is currently happening around the Sobieski Hotel, we asked Michał Krasucki, the city’s monument conservator, who has already expressed criticism about the potential change in the color of the façade in the past.

– A very bad decision. Earlier, I had met with hotel representatives, I was convincing them that the change in the color scheme, which is inscribed in the architecture of the building, would make it unnoticeable. The hotel has become a symbol of systemic changes, it is one of the first buildings built in Warsaw after 1989 – says Krasucki.

Everyone knows him because of his color. With white colors, no one will pay attention to him. The building was identified by the expert team for contemporary cultural goods as an iconic object for postmodern architecture – he adds.

Application for entering Sobieski into the register of monuments

It seems that the conservator’s office does not intend to give up and will fight to preserve the original appearance of Sobieski’s façade.

– After talks with the representatives of the hotel and failure to take into account our demands, we applied to the Provincial Conservator for the Protection of Monuments to enter the object in the register. The initiation of the procedure stops the work and will allow the problem to be discussed in a wider group – emphasizes Michał Krasucki.

We sent an email with questions to the Radisson press office. We are waiting for answer.

The inspiration was the tenement houses of the Old Town Square

Sobieski was opened in 1992. The building was designed by Wolfgang Triessing and Maciej Nowicki, and its colors were invented by Austrian artist Hans Piccottini. It was said that he was inspired by the tenement houses in the Old Town Square. These are one of the most recognizable examples of postmodernism in Warsaw, although the characteristic colors have long lost their original clarity.

Sobieski, on the other hand, is included in the list of contemporary cultural assets – buildings too young to be protected by conservation, but in the opinion of the city and experts worth preserving due to the fact that they well represent the trends from the times when they were created. However, the list does not provide formal protection, and what is more – the Warsaw one has not even entered into force yet. Formally, the city has no way to protect the original appearance of the hotel.

Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter/tvnwarszawa.pl

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