In the 1960s, architect Edmund Goldzamt wrote that “the issue of leisure and tourism is becoming increasingly important in socialist countries. This is due to the growing urbanization, democratization and mass popularization of the custom of going on annual holidays.” The popularization of mass recreation determined the development of construction – both of holiday homes and sanatoriums, as well as facilities with accompanying functions.
New spa and leisure districts, as well as individual sanatoriums and holiday homes, were designed both in the towns with renowned resort tradition and in the vicinity of places which until now had other functions. The dominant feature was modern modernist aesthetics and the desire to optimize the functional system. Recognizing the special qualities of the natural landscape and their influence on architecture, the modernists created buildings based on the special relationship between “culture” and “nature.” Their coexistence did not have to be associated with the phenomenon of imitation but was based on the principle of contrast – both in relation to nature and cultural context.
Many of the spa and leisure facilities built in the 1960s and 1970s are true pearls of post-war modernism. Among them is the sanatorium in Kołobrzeg by H. Gurjanowa and E. Goldzamt, holiday home “Harnaś” in Bukowina Tatrzańska (L. Filar, J. Pilitowski, P. Gawor) or “Granit” resort in Szklarska Poręba (S. Muller). Moreover, the following spa districts deserve attention: Ustroń Jaszowiec (Cz. Kotela, J. Winnicki) and Ustroń Zawodzie (H. Buszko, A. Franta).
The current fate of the holiday resorts constructed in the People’s Republic of Poland era shows the complexity of the problem of preserving the so-called “troublesome heritage”. Some of them are in ruin. Most of them still function in their original roles, but objects that, like “Harnaś”, build their identity based on history, are exceptions. (Błażej Ciarkowski)
Błażej Ciarkowski – PhD Architect Engineer. A graduate of architecture at the Technical University of Łódź and art history at the University of Łódź. In 2012, he defended his doctoral dissertation with honours and obtained the title of Doctor of Technical Sciences in the field of architecture and urban planning. Since 2017, he has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Technology. Since 2012, assistant professor at the Art History Institute at the University of Łódź. Winner of the award of the Marshal of the Łódź Province for the best doctoral dissertation. Winner of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarship. Author of and scientific and popular science books and articles. His research interests focus on post-war Polish and world architecture, the links between architecture and politics, as well as the conservation and protection of the heritage of the modernist movement. Member of Docomomo International, PKN ICOMOS, the Łódź Branch of the Association of Art Historians, and the Łódź Branch of the Association of Polish Architects.