The architecture of the buildings in Gdynia’s Sea City and the future character of this part of the city, are a consequence of the very specific collaboration effort between the local government and private investors. On the one hand it involves the city planners who determine the spatial order in the planning of land use, and on the other hand there are the investors, who bestow a specific stylistic quality and architectural shape upon the buidlings.
The final look of the suburb depends on this collaboration and mutual understanding. The situation gets even more complicated when many individual investors are involved in a project in the same area. This is the current status quo we are faced with at Sea City, with ongoing building construction being conducted by various developers.
– If anyone is able to see a coherent harmonious overall concept reflected in the individual buildings currently under construction, that’s excellent, but if not, I would like to reassure them, this order is going to gradually reveal itself with the completion of individual quarters – says Marek Stępa, the Head of the Office for Protectio of Cultural Heritage at the Gdynia City Hall. – in the spatial planning of land use some sites have been designated as particularly prominent. In the case of such places the development design has to be emerge out of an architectural competition. One example of such a site is the large area located between the President’s Bay and Washington Street. The design for the existing Sea Towers building originated in one of the competitions, and the hotel and an office block next door – came about as a consequence of another contest, with the remainder of the area being developed according to the designs of the winners of yet another, the recently concluded competition.
The specific character of this neighbourhood, reminding of its bonds with the sea, will be emphasized by various items of street furniture, which refer to the seaside and-port character of the city. Amongst the buildings currently under construction on the Fishermen’s Pier one will be able to locate the preserved industrial pearls of the Gdynia modernist movement, which have been entered into the register of historical monuments and which are protected under the provisions of the plan – Chłodnia Śledziowa[Herring Cold Storage Warehouse] and Chłodnia Rybna[Fish Cold Storage Warehouse]. The designation and functional purpose of these structures hasn’t been yet decided upon. It would be a good idea, to devote at least one of them to cultural purposes.
– Cultural institutions enhance the atrractiveness of what the city has to offer and generate interest, attracting residents also in the evenings and on the weekends – says Marek Stępa. – And that is why in our design of the Sea City we set out that this neighbourhood should merge all the functions – residential, business and services. It is also one of our dreams that the end of Fishermen’s Pier, a site which is very prominent and exclusive due to its location, will become home to a cultural edifice – built in a very unusual architectural style. In our opinion, a site with such a unique character on an international scale, should be made the most of in terms of an atrractive utilization of its potential, as well as be easily accesible and frequently visited by a maximum number of users, both local and tourists.
Thedevelopment and restructuring of the old port facilities located in the neighbourhood of the Fishermen’s Pier, signifies a return to the original plan of the Gdynia founders in the 1930’s – turning the city centre towards the sea. We will be able to admire this incredible seaview on our daily walks to work, on the way home, to the shops or restaurants.