New facilities and infrastructure at the Hevelianum Centre in Gdansk, Poland

A popular cultural venue in Gdansk, Poland is adding new spaces for educational and recreational activities thanks in part to an investment from the European Regional Development Fund. The Hevelianum Centre is situated in the grounds of the historic Fort Góra Gradowa and attracts more than 200 000 visitors every year. The centre’s main objective is to popularise science through interactive and multimedia exhibitions and events. This project adds to the centre’s capacity by building a new planetarium and reconstructing other facilities.

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The Hevelianum Centre’s planetarium ©Hevelianum, 2018 The Hevelianum Centre’s planetarium ©Hevelianum, 2018

" Nothing happens by itself, automatically, with a snap of a finger. The revitalisation of the Hevelianum was a process. When 21 years ago it was initiated as a cultural park we did not foresee where it would lead us. We knew that this area should be returned to the city of Gdansk. We learned step by step. The investment value has acceded PLN 60 million of EU funding, plus tens of millions from the city's own budget. "

Pawel Adamowicz – President of the City of Gdansk

Work focused on expanding one of the Hevelianum’s historic monuments, the South Caponiere, with a mix of reconstruction and new build. A new underground area provides for exhibition space, helping the centre to provide interactive learning experiences for people of all ages. The centrepiece of the work is the planetarium, which is situated in a circular room. These alterations and additions are tied together by a single entrance hall to the South Caponiere. In addition, the fort’s historical ‘way of the guard’ walk has been reconstructed along a route which runs from South Caponiere to the Rifleman Gallery.

Exceptional care of the environment has been taken in developing the project’s technical solutions. For example, the new facilities are heated with heat pumps supported by air-handling units that use energy recovery technology. Rain water will be used to irrigate plants and outside spaces.

Long-term support

This project is a continuation of various schemes to restore Fort Góra Gradowa and create a cultural space for the enjoyment of residents and tourists. Over the past 20 years, work to develop these amenities and build the Hevelianum Centre has attracted around PLN 60 million in EU funding.

The next stage of development will be to strengthen the role of the Hevelianum Centre which, thanks to the new infrastructure, will be able to improve its services, helping more people access local cultural assets and science learning. Plus, the protection and development of the site’s historic buildings is expected to increase the region’s attractiveness to businesses and tourists.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Reconstruction of old fortifications into the new Hevelianum Centre in Gdansk” is EUR 5 023 461 (PLN 21 778 998), with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 3 471 873 (PLN 15 052 157) through the “Infrastructure and Environment” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Education and training”.