New museum complex promises to transform run-down area

A major project to build new premises for the Silesian Museum in Katowice will revitalise a former industrialised area by providing great new facilities for local people and tourists alike.

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Currently, the Silesian Museum is housed in a building that was constructed in 1898. This site does not have enough space for the museum’s needs and there is no opportunity for expansion, which limits the chances of acquiring new exhibits. The limited space also prevents the museum from carrying out statutory educational activities and from hosting scientific conferences. In addition, the old building is inconvenient for visitors and provides inadequate access for disabled people.

The new museum will be built on the site of Katowice’s former coal mine, situated in Koszutka-Bogucice district. The project forms part of a larger investment to create a “Museum Quarter” which will help to improve the area’s prospects.

The site allocated for the museum is currently inaccessible and in very poor condition. It separates the city centre from the most densely populated section of Bogucice district. Redevelopment will therefore help to alleviate problems in the area relating to transport, public amenity and public safety.

A showcase for Silesia

As a clear reference to Silesia’s coal-mining heritage, much of the new build will be located underground. In fact, the majority of the complex will only be visible on the outside through the glass-covered frontage of the administrative building.

The underground section will account for 83 % of the museum’s total surface area, which is estimated to be approximately 24 830 m². The main section of the museum will consist of a building that has three underground and four above-ground levels. The underground sections will house the main exhibitions, the conference section and the Central Hall, along with technical storage, support rooms, a “gastronomic section” and underground parking for 232 vehicles.

Above ground, the complex will provide covered entrance halls as well as the four-storey administrative section, a buffet restaurant and – on the upper floors – rooms for museum workers. Another building will house a coffee shop/restaurant, complete with kitchen facilities. Meanwhile, the Polish Stage Design building will include workshops and offices.

A room with a view

The site will include a mining shaft lift tower with a viewing platform for visitors. The project also provides for landscaping with park planting, along with fixed equipment for the buildings and an interactive exhibition called the “History of Upper Silesia”.

Up to 20 posts will be created through the project’s implementation phase, and a further 50 during exploitation.

Draft date