Thursday, 19 March 2015

Mill town Łódź

To Łódź today, for the Grand Business Mixer (over 200 firms present), held in the award-winning Grohman Factory, a beautifully refurbished textile mill converted into modern office and conference space. The project, located in Łódź's Księży Młyn district, won first prize at last year's Expo Real exhibition in Munich, beating 39 other entrants from all over the world. Original brickwork blends with modern materials.

Also part of the refurbishment project, the factory's fire station. Proudly displayed outside it, the original water pumping engine, made by Mather & Platt Ltd of Manchester.

There are still many buildings in the complex that are still in a state of dilapidation; I hope that in time all the original buildings will be restored and brought back to use.

Across the road (ul. Tymienieckiego), here's another refurbishment project, the Scheibler Factory, converted into loft-style dwellings. Around the core building in the old outhouses are arrayed shops that sell lighting, flooring, home entertainment, and some fine restaurants.

The photo below puts the former factory into its setting; surrounded by tenements built for the mill workers. These are still occupied, but have not been refurbished; they're a bit run down and could do with the same quality of work that went into the Grohman and Scheibler factory projects. Note the factory clock, clearly visible for all the workers to see.

Below: a typical tenement ('famuła'), note the doorstep that's been replaced by a wooden pallet. Original cobbles and brickwork, a place of immense historical character.

Łódź has been known as 'Poland's Manchester' - below, you can see why. Though the alleyways are wider. The city authorities are applying to register the entire complex as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bricktorian Poland!

I have been to Łódź many times but have never visited Księży Młyn. Definitely worth seeing.

This time two years ago:
Church and state

This time three years ago:
Scrub fire in Jeziorki

This time four years ago:
Airbus A380 visits Warsaw


dr Marcin said...

Splendid and fantastic. To construct of conference centers at the site of the former textile mill center just for discussing some trade contracts for imported textile stuff from China. So, please, don't ask why they have the lowest rates of unemployment nor us. Doesn't matter, as we may be only proud of the refurbishment projects of our... prosperity. Sorry, but the francs credit payments won't be refurbished.

pavolk said...

The pastel illustrations in the city museum of the mills at their 19th century height are uncannily similar to the ones of Lancashire's cotton palaces. Fascinating city, and wonderful that the red brick real estate is still valued.