Spór Hilarego Szpilowskiego ze Stanisławem Zawadzkim o zasady sztuki architektonicznej przy wznoszeniu koszar w Kamieńcu Podolskim

Ryszard Mączyński

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/SZiK.2014.005


The idea of erecting barracks in Kamieniec Podolski, the fortress – as it was commonly said – “created by God’s hand”, which guarded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the southeast, was intended by King Stanisław August to contribute in a real as well as symbolic way to defence of the country. After years of negligence and abandonment, dating “from the times of retaking the object from Turkish hands” (1699), Kamieniec was “deprived of crucial elements in one place and completely ruined in the other, without necessary repairs”; hence, the undertaking to modernize the defensive complex was perceived as prestigious. This in turn led to the desire of new barrack buildings serving as a model achievement, characterized by modern form and functionality of comfortable interiors. Drawing up of the project was entrusted to Stanisław Zawadzki, architect to Armed Forces of The Crown, a graduate of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome and the winner of the Concorsi Clementini in 1771. While designing the barracks, he applied the most modern architectural ideas; keeping to strict rules of symmetry, he created a monumental, multi-winged building with internal yards, and employed practical solutions in repeating segments carefully planned from formal and functional point of view, which consisted mainly of quarters destined for officers and soldiers, varying in comfort. The façade of the edifice from the side of the Smotrycz River is worth particular attention with regard to its ascetic form, deprived of architectural orders, the only decoration being strip rustication of the socle set under plain walls with simple rectangular windows. Difficult terrain and lack of proper building supervision in the course of erecting the structure, which increased costs, but – first of all – scarcity of funds provided by the investor (The Military Department) caused the project being carried out only partially. The construction works – keenly watched by the king – lasted six years, from 1782 to 1787. Between 1787 and 1788, the part already erected was furnished and used by the army. The works were ultimately stopped due to complicated political situation, which made it necessary to think about defence of the fortress rather than the comfort of the garrison residing there. Accusations of Hilary Szpilowski, Zawadzki’s pupil and subordinate, towards the latter’s person and concerning shortcomings of the barracks’ architecture were rejected by a committee set up to consider the issue and they did not affect professional career of the defendant. He was cleared of all charges concerning presumably wrong solutions. He remained on his post of architect to Armed Forces of the Crown and continued with the building works on the barracks in Kamieniec Podolski; soon he was also chosen to design four barrack complexes in Warsaw. The Kamieniec edifice – although not completed due to reasons independent from him – brought Zawadzki well deserved fame, drawing praise from his contemporaries, who claimed that “the buildings of barracks, erected by him at exceptionally low cost in Warsaw and Kamieniec Podolski not only provided comfort for the army and town inhabitants, but also brought ornament to the country and honour to the nation for all generations to come”. From the perspective of over two centuries, we must appreciate Stanisław Zawadzki as an outstanding classicist architect, who dared to express himself in the most severe and cubic forms. In the barracks at Kamieniec Podolski he demonstrated his skills in applying to practical use the latest European architectural trends while solving complicated construction and functional issues, and remaining in accordance with the tradition of aptness, postulated by theoreticians. He also demonstrated his skills in management, fulfilling his tasks despite limitations in finances and supervision exercise, and taking good care of his subordinates insofar as he sought to improve living conditions of workers-prisoners.

Słowa kluczowe

Stanisław Zawadzki; Hilary Szpilowski; Jan de Witte; architektura militarna; koszary; Kamieniec Podolski; XVIIII wiek; klasycyzm

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