Private versus public safety in Warsaw

The story of architect Kazimierz Olszaniecki in Rembertów, Warsaw, Poland

We all like to live in safe and comfortable homes. Within cities this isn’t always easy to establish. Pubic houses, apartments and individual homes can be secured, this is true, but to some extend their level of security can violate a secure and pleasant environment. In other words, safe housing and safe cities are interrelated. How to deal with this problem? How to guarantee both a safe housing and a safe urban environment? ‘Safeplaces’ discussed these questions on site with Kazimierz (‘Kaz’) Olszaniecki in Warsaw. Kaz is the architect of a housing project in Rembertów, a remote district in the far northeast of Warsaw.

The project (2002-2003) is situated along one of the main streets of Rembertów (Al. Gen. Antoniego Chrusciela ‘Montera’). The south west facade really has modernised this part of the city. The L-shaped block contains a courtyard and comprises apartments on all levels except on ground level, because here the entire length of the block’s front side is occupied with shops.

The main street environment serves as a time machine. The future is represented by the new housing of Kaz, while the past is still present at the other side of the street. Here wooden houses resemble the 19th century. We bought some ‘augurki’ and apples in the little shop. A very old lady was helping us.
According to Kaz this historic side of the street won’t remain for long. A pity actually, as the combination of old and new environment feels pleasant and safe, though the visitors of ‘Bar Marcus’ may cause some problems. But honestly we are not sure about that, the bar looks a bit shabby, but not very dangerous.