Culture replaces industry

In recent days the City Hall of Katowice presented a road system of the future cultural district near “Spodek” arena. The new roads are to facilitate a local traffic among planned public and private developments in the district. Forth-coming building works are expected for realisation of the new seat of Silesian Museum. The project’s specification finished in December 2009 is currently rating by the European Commission which will decide about the admission of EU funds. The grant agreement can be signed on the turn of Q1 and Q2 2010. The building will cost PLN 324 million.

fot. Mosty Katowice, a road system in the area of the future Silesian Museum's seat

The text below is a description of the new Silesian Museum’s seat published by architecture.com managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects:

Built on the site of a disused coal mine next to Katowice city centre, Riegler Riewe Architect’s new museum is an example of how new building and redevelopment can recognise and maintain local identities through development. The city of Katowice has a social history based in heavy industry and mining which, with time, has depleted and left many former work buildings unused and empty.

Using the existing buildings as its framework or shell, the development of the coalmine is seen as a starting point for a wider post-industrial campaign to reuse and modernise unused areas. The plan for the museum is to offer maximum activity at the most minimal apparent intervention on the exiting building; therefore the majority of much of the activity is designed to take place underground.

The only element that will be seen from ground level are the tops of the glass towers; large partly suspended boxes that cut through the lower floors and exhibits beneath as a source of natural light. The original historic structures of the mine are therefore not dominated by the construction of the modern museum. The existing “Warszawa” Tower will be made accessible to visitors by including a lift, the summit offering views across the city.

Entrance to the building is at ground level, with visitors travelling down a floor to reach the first basement level, housing the ticket offices and information centre. Further east on this level the shop, library and reading rooms are situated. The permanent exhibition space is reached via two interlocking ramps, which lead down to the next basement level.

© Silesian Museum, the future Museum's section