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COVID-19 and Adaptive Reuse of Industrial Heritage: The Bakery, Praga District, Warsaw

The site of the Bakery
Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:30 am


The Bakery, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, operated till 2010, providing bread and pastries for the neighborhood. It is a complex of two buildings (an industrial one, approx. 880 sq. m, and a residential building) and an empty adjacent plot. It is accessible from the inner yard, currently used as a parking lot.

The municipally owned complex is vacant, with several tangible heritage elements still in place: furnaces, cast iron doors, and ceramic tiles. It is a protected monument.

The Bakery is on the periphery of a long-neglected district, but that situation is rapidly changing. A metro line connects Praga district to the city center, with a metro station in a walking distance from the Bakery. On the other side of the street, a former factory will soon become a fancy residential area for the middle class. Industrial past and workers' heritage are disappearing. What future awaits this site? Will the Bakery also be re-used as a commercial venue? Or will it remain forgotten and vacant as a too small fish to fry? How does Covid-19 re-orient the policy towards such heritage sites?

Join us to discuss the possible and desired future for the site and similar ones, their potential, and heritage values. We will focus on the following questions:

  • The service sector seems to be the most endangered part of the economy during a pandemic, while manufacturing remains strong. Will COVID-19 reverse deindustrialization and bring factories back to the large European cities?
  • Our workscape is changing fast. Can buildings such as the Bakery be a golden middle way between offices and work from home (i.e., small offices for the local inhabitants)?
  • What other local uses may be proposed for the Bakery (and similar sites) to provide a more robust local economy and improve community wellbeing?

Moderator: Dóra Mérai and Volodymyr Kulikov, Central European University

The conversation is part of the project From burden to resource: industrial heritage in Central-Eastern Europe (

Visegrad Fund