Every time I pass this building – which is often because it’s a minute walk from my house, plus I used to pass it twice a day on my way to and from middle school – it hurts.
It hurts to look at it, to see it, to catch a glimpse of it with the corner of your eye. And it’s not even all of the mint in this street – the mint facade ‘adorns’ the northern side of the building facing Mickiewicza street. The residential building opposite Oknoplast – by the way, named the Building of the Year 1995 (d. by architect Czeslaw Sobocinski, precise address: Sienkiewicza 14) – is a very similar shade of mint, although complemented by dirty yellow and the old blood kind of red. But Sobocinski’s building looks more just postmodern than this poor kind of stripped neopalladian modern.
On the left side – the browns and the oranges – are some of the plentiful ‘historical’ buildings of Bydgoskie Przedmiescie. The direct neighbour of Oknoplast is the building housing Czarny Tulipan (Sienkiewicza 15), a locally legendary pub that opens at 3pm and stays open like a pub does. It’s the main hangout spot for local adults who are not the so-called “autochtons” of Bydgoskie (though you could say this word’s not so accurate; what it’s meant to refer to people aged 40+ who spend long daylight hours sitting around in pubs drinking 5 PLN beers) – you’d say, a pub for people.
The building in the middle, also made of red brick, is residential, and the corner building houses both flats (which you enter from the side yard) and some services – a second hand fashion store and a plumbing parts shop.
And the cherry on top of the mint ice cream facade are the cars which are choking Sienkiewicza street. The only breath it gets is when a tram makes its way from Bydgoska towards the university campus through Sienkiewicza. It makes you think that there’s an alternative for cars, and that perhaps one day we’ll return to the point where most people who now drive cars daily used public transport almost all of the time.
Hereby I propose Toruńska Ustawa Krajobrazowa (TUK) which would ensure that environment in our town is pleasant to the eye and mind and enhances the reputation of Torun as a city for the arts and for knowledge.