Office by JIO Design Studio
A Historic Art Nouveau Gem in Warsaw
The tenement house at 10 Bagatela Street in Warsaw, built between 1911 and 1912, stands out as a late Art Nouveau gem. Initially, Józef Wilder, the building’s first owner, operated a colonial shop there, which later transformed into a finishing school for girls founded by Elżbieta Radzicka. Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, a Polish poet who wrote during the war and died in the Warsaw Uprising, was born in this building in 1921. Today, the first floor of the historic tenement house hosts a design studio called Jankowski & Opyrchał (JIO).
Notable Architects and Stunning Features
A plaque on the building’s façade reveals that Józef Napoleon Czerwiński and Wacław Heppen, two architects behind some of downtown Warsaw’s most stunning buildings, designed it. The exterior boasts a beautiful, eye-catching, and “rippling” façade, while the interior features a marble staircase with a balustrade adorned by a leafy frieze and meticulously restored antique windows and doors.
Establishing the JIO Design Studio
Architects Aleksander Jankowski and Agata Opyrchał founded the JIO studio in 2002 and discovered the building at 10 Bagatela Street in 2010. A former apartment on the first floor perfectly suited their office needs, and the building’s unique architectural composition proved irresistible.
Despite the poor technical condition of the elevation, staircase, and apartment, Agata Opyrchał knew they had found the right place. The south-facing windows in most rooms provide a direct connection to the charming street’s life, and the first-floor location offers the privacy they need for work and creativity.
Embracing Tradition and Modernity
The space required extensive renovation. The architects replaced old installations, removed non-original elements that had accumulated over time, and prioritized restoring the décor’s original features. They juxtaposed antique doors, windows, and moldings with modern lamps and furniture. The color scheme consists of monochromatic gray, black, and white, occasionally contrasted with warm wood. The result is a modern, functional office integrated into the historical context of the early 20th-century building. The space includes a workplace for the design team, a spacious conference room for client meetings, and a showroom displaying carefully selected materials, samples, project prototypes, fabrics, and artwork.
The Studio’s Creative DNA
Visitors to 10 Bagatela Street won’t be surprised to find graphics, drawings, and paintings casually displayed throughout the studio. Agata Opyrchał, a graduate of the Department of Drawing at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, continues to create her own work despite her many responsibilities. Paintings, sculptures, and other art forms take center stage in her design ideas.
JIO Design Studio is characterized by its respect for architectural heritage and its view of art as an essential component of all design concepts. They treat the works of their predecessors as a foundation for creating entirely new living spaces that offer modern comfort. They aim to create timeless qualities that withstand the passage of time. Aleksander Jankowski says they see the Bagatela studio as a second home and the perfect representation of their office and design philosophy.
Every day, through their small business, Jankowski and Opyrchał strive to demonstrate that by planning comprehensive projects based on a well-formed creative foundation, they can shape their surroundings in a meaningful and purposeful way. JIO Design Studio embodies the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, showcasing the architects’ ability to create innovative, functional spaces that pay homage to the past while looking forward to the future.
Photography by Łukasz Zandecki