Another notable modernist building from our trip to Poland in August. Rather than the concrete of Berlin’s brutalist masterpieces or the nearby Plac Grunwaldski, Wrocław’s Trzonolinowiec has a construction that is unique in Europe and is known colloquially as Hangman or ‘the house on one leg’.
The building was designed by Jacek Burzynski and built between 1963-1967. The structure is a reinforced concrete stem carrying the vertical compressive load to the base of the building. On that stem are mounted the 11 floors/ceilings in the form of a square platform suspended originally on twelve steel ropes. The ropes are attached to the top of the shaft and anchored on the ground to stiffen the structure. The lowest floor is suspended above the ground.
It was built from the top downwards, with each floor being lifted into position. In 1974, the structure was reinforced with the ropes being encased in concrete and steel supports added to suspend the lower floor. Inside, each floor was dived using curtain walls to create 4 apartments.
There are some great pictures of the building in its early years, including some of it being built, on the Dolny-Slask (lower-Silesia) website here.
The comparison between the new building and the surrounding immaculate streets and its terrible current state are dramatic. The decorative concrete that for a garden around the base are crooked and cracked, filled only with weeds. Every surface is covered with graffiti and stained with the patina of zero maintenance.
As with the buildings in the previous posts, I took a few snaps using the Bronica before processing and scanning the film at home.