First two pillars uncovered

Katowice residents can now admire the Railway Station’s first two umbrella pillars which emerged after the scaffold supporting their caps had been dismantled. Reconstruction works finished a month ago but it was necessary to keep the scaffold for several weeks for a special concrete mix to set inside the formwork.

First two cup-shaped pillars of the new Railway Station
First two reconstructed cup-shaped pillars of the new Railway Station

The two reconstructed and uncovered pillars can be seen from 3 Maja St. and Stawowa St. Four more scaffolds are awaiting the dismantling process nearby. Thanks to them, the formwork will leave a unique tree-ring pattern on the pillar’s surface. The construction site of Katowice Station has already seen the start of scaffolding works for the reconstruction of another pillar.

The complex umbrella pillars reinstatement process was preceded by months of tests involving the selection of proper wood, boards and concrete recipe. The reconstruction began at the street level although poles are located a dozen meters beneath the building. Thanks to numerous tests, engineers arrived at an effect matching the original pillars which had been thoroughly scanned a year and a half earlier to serve as a basis for reinstatement.

”The tests also concerned the type of concrete to use for the reconstruction. Mixes are now more durable than a few decades ago” – explains Antoni Pomorski from Neinver Poland, Project Manager for the Railway Station Reconstruction in Katowice. “It was vital to opt for a proper mix so that concrete could boast the right shade. It was even more important for the concrete to be dense enough not to trickle down between formwork beams, yet thin enough not to leave empty spaces after drying out. Owing to a good choice, the external part of the pillars features only a subtle tree-ring pattern” – says Antoni Pomorski.

Following successful tests, a concrete mix was approved and wood/formwork technology was determined in December last year. The tests also allowed selecting a group of most reliable and experienced workers fascinated with this key investment stage. That was of crucial importance since formworks and concrete-laying require best qualifications as there is no option to make any adjustments. That is why each stage involves great accuracy – even the slightest mistake might show on the reconstructed pillars.

In the narrowest part of the pillars (which get wider as they go up), there is an empty 80×80 centimeters space. Following the original solution, it will feature a stormwater drainage system for the roof and a fire prevention system for sprinklers which were not used in the old Station building. The reconstruction made it possible to avoid problems faced by the Station for decades, i.e. frost and water condensation. These negative and bothersome situations are prevented by heating cables concreted inside an approximately 10 centimeters-thick structural wall.

The reconstruction process allows showcasing pillars more effectively than ever. When the investment is completed, they will be visible at their best throughout the building’s height. This is how travelers and Galeria Katowicka customers will get to see them.

text source: press office of Neinver