Projects financed by external funding
“Construction of new premises of Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice”
Project financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Regional Operational Programme for Silesian Voivodeship for the years 2007-2011.
Beneficiary: Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice
Project period: 2007-2015
Total project value: PLN 262,238,555.71
The amount of co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund under the Regional Operational Programme for Silesian Voivodeship for the years 2007-2011: PLN 178,191,438.68 (85% of eligible costs)
Co-financing from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the Promesa programme: PLN 2,262,393.00
Own contribution of Silesian Voivodeship: PLN 81,784,724.03 (15% of eligible expenditures as well as non-eligible expenditures)
The new premises of Muzeum Śląskie, built on the site of the former “Katowice” mine, were opened to the public in June 2015. The main aim of the undertaking was to revitalise the 2.7 ha post-industrial area of the former “Katowice” mine by constructing the main building of the museum, converting a number of post-mine structures into exhibition spaces, and creating an attractive park area. The architectural conception, developed by an Austrian company Riegler Riewe Architekten from Graz, incorporates the industrial history of Silesia and the original function of the post-mine area in accordance with the principle of minimal intervention into the post-industrial landscape, which is why a large portion of the complex is located below the ground.
The only elements visible from the outside are glazed structures, housing administrative buildings and a foyer as well as six glass boxes that provide lighting to underground exhibitions. Thanks to carefully designed proportions, the new buildings harmonise with the already existing complex. The underground area also includes a garage with 232 parking spaces, an auditorium for 320 people, library, educational and conference rooms, and an impressive, 12.5-metre exhibition space, i.e. the so-called central hall. The total amount of exhibition space in Muzeum Śląskie amounts to 6,000 square metres. The complex of buildings also includes a former engine room of “Warszawa” shaft, converted into a two storey restaurant, and a former clothing warehouse, which houses the Center for Polish Scenography – a Division of Muzeum Ślaskie, boasting a the most unique collection of theatre and film scenography in the country. A special attraction of Muzeum Śląskie is a 40-metre mine shaft hoisting tower, which was equipped with a panoramic elevator that allows the visitors to reach the top platform and admire the view of the park and the whole city. Permanent exhibitions in the new building of the museum include 1,400 objects divided in six thematic galleries that encompass Polish art from the years 1800–1945 and since 1945 to contemporary times, Polish theatre and film scenography, Silesian amateur art, as well as Silesian sacral art and an exhibition devoted to the history of Upper Silesia.
The main aim of the construction of the new building of Muzeum Śląskie was to increase the competitiveness of urban space by developing a cultural infrastructure contributing to the improvement of investment and tourist attractiveness of Silesian Voivodeship. The new building of Muzeum Śląskie together with the International Conference Centre, the building of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Spodek comprise the unique space of Cultural Zone. All the newly constructed buildings received multiple awards in recognition of their unique design.
“Regional Operational Programme for Silesian Voivodeship – a real answer to real needs”
Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Regional Operational Programme for Silesian Voivodeship for the years 2007-2011 and by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
“Revitalization of historical buildings of the Main Bathhouse and Woodworking Shop along with the premises adjacent to the former “Katowice” mine and construction of the infrastructure necessary for the purposes of the Silesian Museum in Katowice”
The project is being implemented under the “Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage” programme, with funds from the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the years 2009–2014.
Beneficiary: Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice
Project period: 2014-2017
Total project value: PLN 30,105,769.15
The amount of co-financing from the EA Financial Mechanism for the years 2009–2014: PLN 10,704,779.59 and from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage: PLN 1,889,078.75 (62.47% of elligible costs)
Own contribution of Silesian Voivodeship: PLN 17,511,910.81, including co-financing from the budget of the City of Katowice: PLN 7,000,000 (37.53% of eligible expenditures as well as non-eligible expenditures)
The opening of the new building of Muzeum Śląskie, constructed on the site of the former mine, does not conclude the planned transformations of the space situated in the capital of Silesian Voivodeship. Historic post-mine buildings, the witnesses to the history of this place, are undergoing a metamorphosis right in front of our eyes. The next, 2nd stage of revitalisation of the area and facilities which used to belong to “Katowice” mine is currently in the final phase of its implementation. The investment includes regeneration and conversion of historic post-mine buildings – the main bathhouse and woodworking the shop – for exhibition purposes, development of the surrounding area and construction of a ground level parking lot for passenger cars and coaches of a total area of around 1.3 ha.
The project’s main concept is to preserve the cultural heritage of Upper Silesia by adapting two historical post-mining buildings, along with the conservation of historical industrial machinery that will be exhibited in the woodworking shop building. The project also includes acquisition of additional equipment for the Silesian Museum’s Digitization Workshop that will allow to document the history of culture and prepare a digital rendering of the most valuable and unique Museum collections.
The whole undertaking – together with its earlier stage, i.e. the construction of the new museum building – is a unique combination of modern (the complex of underground and ground level buildings) and traditional (adaptation of the buildings of the former mine for exhibition purposes) elements, both in the architectural and visual aspect and in terms of their functions and meaning. Changing the function of the revitalised space from industrial to a cultural one – transformation of the area of a coal mine into a Cultural Zone – is a symbolic reflection of social and economic changes that took place after 1989 in Upper Silesia and an expression of the strive for development of science and culture written down in the development strategies of Silesian Voivodeship.
The revitalised woodworking shop, whose style incorporates neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau elements, combines exhibition, educational, and entertainment functions. The ground floor of the building is dedicated to educational, theatrical and artistic activities, as well as concerts, travel and ethnographic film screenings. A permanent exhibition on the first floor, entitled “In search of Tomek,” gives the visitors an opportunity to get to know Alfred Szklarski’s novel and takes them on a fascinating journey in the footsteps of Tomek Wilmowski. The visitors will try to solve the mystery of Tomek’s disappearance, and at the same time get to know the rich traditions of remote cultures, develop their creativity and problem solving skills.
The main bathhouse building was converted into offices for three of the museum’s departments. The History, Archeology and Ethnology departments will gain not only laboratories and workrooms, but also a place for temporary exhibitions. The first such exhibition – “It all began with a seed…” will introduce the visitors to the rich and often surprising history of arable crops and show the ins and outs of the daily work in the Archeobotanic Workshop and its research. The exhibition space, along with appropriate technical equipment, will also meet the requirements for the organisation of larger concerts or events. The development of the laboratories of departments located in the bathhouse and providing them with state-of-the-art equipment will allow the museum to function as a competency, service and research centre for other institutions.
The implementation of this multidimensional project was made possible thanks to establishing cooperation with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) – an independent, non-profit institution for the conservation and sustainable management of cultural heritage.
Support granted from the Norwegian and the EEA funds, from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as national resources.
Revitalization of the former Gwarek bathhouse
Name of the project: Redevelopment and adaptation of the historic building of the former Gwarek bathhouse into a studio warehouse of the Silesian Museum in Katowice
Total value of the project: PLN 23 714 419,37, including eligible (refundable) costs: PLN 18 931 906,55.
The value of the projects consists of:
- co-financing from EEA funds: POLN 15 107 661,43 (79,80 % of eligible costs),
- own contribution of the Silesian Voivodeship, e.g. PLN 8 606 757,94.
Project implementation period: January 2021 – March 2024
By the decision of the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport, the Silesian Museum received funding from the “Culture” Programme of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for 2014-2021. This allocation will be used for the task entitled “Reconstruction and adaptation of the historic building of the former Gwarek bathhouse into a studio warehouse of the Silesian Museum in Katowice.” The project’s purpose is to provide a new function to the post-mining facilities and to develop the area around the buildings, as well as to furnish them appropriately. The building of the former Gwarek bathhouse is to serve as a studio warehouse for exhibits related to the history of industry and military wares, with the possibility of making the space available to visitors. The building will have an open hall with two-story mezzanines, which will serve mainly as an exhibition area for the largest and heaviest exhibits, including a steam engine from the Baildon Steelworks and an electric hoisting machine from the Rydułtowy Coal Mine.
In addition to infrastructure activities, the project assumes the implementation of soft activities in the form of a cultural and educational offer, training courses related to the scope of the project and promotional activities conducted in cooperation with the project partner – the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research.
This project is a continuation of a larger undertaking, which is the creation of a complex of buildings for the new seat of the Silesian Museum, including the revitalization and making the buildings and the area of the former Katowice Mine available to the public.
The implementation of the project is planned for the period from the beginning of 2021 till March 2024. The total value of the project amounts to PLN 23.7 million, of which the funding received from the EEA FM amounts to PLN 15.1 million. The remaining part of the budget is the own contribution of the Silesian Voivodeship.
New functions of former facilities
The building of the Gwarek bathhouse (originally serving as the engine room of the Gruschka shaft) was constructed in a historicising style in 1903, with neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque elements. It has richly decorated gable elevations. After the construction of a new engine room with a hoisting machine in 1952, the present building was converted into the so-called “Gwarek” bathhouse which functioned until the 1990s. The building is listed in the municipal register of monuments of the city of Katowice.
The drillers workshop is a small, one-story building adjacent to the north-eastern corner of the Gwarek bathhouse. The building was erected in 1910. It was probably used for keeping miners’ identity marks. In 1923, after the miners’ identity marks storeroom was moved to the workers’ bathhouse, it was converted into a workshop at the engine room of the Gruschka (nowadays Gwarek) shaft.
As part of the project, the revitalized objects will serve new functions, those of a museum and educational facility, while maintaining as many existing elements as possible, determining the post-industrial character of the building. The bathhouse building will be used as a study warehouse for exhibits related to the history of industry and military wares, including the steam engine from the Baildon Steelworks and the electric hoisting machine KWK Rydułtowy, which will be available to visitors. The building will also include an office zone, as well as sanitary and technical rooms. Storage and exhibition of the collection will be possible on the ground floor, basement and two additional levels, which will be the designed mezzanines. Due to the large size and weight of the exhibits kept in the building, it is planned to install an industrial crane for transporting them. The drillers workshop will be used as a building intended for seasonal use of the external spaces of the Museum.
The cultural programme of the project
As part of the project, an extensive cultural programme has also been planned in the bathhouse and drillers workshop buildings as well as inside and around the adjacent premises, both during the project implementation and afterwards. There will be carried out activities on the topics of cultural diversity, the integration of socially excluded people or the social participation of people with disabilities. The activities will include unique concerts in industrial spaces, exhibitions about the cultural heritage of Upper Silesia, meetings, lectures and discussions. There will be events that will delight adults, teenagers and children.
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