silesian museum, katowice, poland

like many of the cities in upper silesia, the city of katowice’s history is closely linked to the themes of heavy industry and mining. on the one hand, this has created a cultural heritage that gives the region its identity and its cultural-historical backbone; on the other, it has left behind distinctive artificial landscapes, industrial plants and buildings. these are embedded in the collective consciousness as being distinctive, and so create a sense of identity; however, as constructions in themselves they are challenging to view: they were originally designed with very specific uses in mind, which have become less important within the increasingly globalised service economy and due to their sometimes purely museum-like character they often have to be adapted at considerable expense or else lie completely empty through lack of coherent concepts for re-use.

the situation in katowice is in this respect all the more special as the coalmine is located right next to the city centre. this provides the unique opportunity to adopt a specifically local focus when considering the issues of urban planning, landscape planning and architectural in a central location within one of the future growth regions of europe. It also represents the chance to initiate an impulse project for a forward-looking, post-industrial re-use of comparable areas – at both a regional and supraregional level. In this regard, the museum project serves as the starting-point for a long-term and definitely sustainable change of use and revitalisation of a large central area in the middle of the city.

the basic aim of the concept is to be able to offer a wide variety of museum uses with minimal apparent intervention. both the museum and the infopoint develop their spatial programme on the basis of their former significance and, in homage to the previous function of the site, are to be entirely underground. from outside in the whole complex appears exclusively through the abstract glass cubes of the administration, utilities and air conditioning, dimensioned in such a way that they blend harmoniously into the ensemble of the existing building. together with the newly created network of paths, squares and parks, the result is a fine public local recreation centre, a “city park” in the best sense. to this effect the design also provides for a discreet adaptation of the existing building as a café and also as a residential and work building for artists in residence. the existing “warszawa” tower will likewise be made accessible to visitors thanks to the erection of a lift and stair tower, allowing views over the whole of katowice.

riegler riewe

informations concerning the final jury decision on the competition "silesian museum katowice have been published on the following internet sites:

ZT-Chamber of Architects and Engineers for Styria and Carinthia

Polish Press Agency PAP, June 15th, 2007, source:

daily newspaper „Gazeta Wyborcza“, regional (silesian) part, June 15th, 2007,35019,4229272.html

Silesian Museum official site: June 15th, 2007

Polish Regional TV TVP3, Regional News, Katowice, June 15th, 2007 5 8,20070615512490.strona

Regional Radio Station Polskie Radio Katowice, June 15th, 2007,43,3511-nowe-muzeum-slaskie.html

SARP (= Association of Polish Architects), Warszawa

Private Radio Station radio em 107,6 fm, June 16th, 2007

Regional Newspaper „Dziennik Zachodni“, June 16th, 2007,

Regional Info-Service, Katowice, June 16th, 2007

Info-Service (news service), June 17th, 2007

Regional Info-Service „Echo Miasta“, June 17th, 2007

touristical Infoservice Poland Tur-Info.Pl, June 18th, 2007 , June 18th, 2007

marshall of the silesian region, June 20th, 2007

Independent Polska Sztuka (= Independent Polish Art)

magazine „Sztuka Architektury“, June 20th, 2007

older articles on this item:

Wkrótce międzynarodowy konkurs na projekt gmachu Nowego Muzeum Śląskiego, Sept. 26th, 2006
Kluczowe decyzje w sprawie Nowego Muzeum Śląskiego, August 22nd, 2006
Plan prac nad budową Nowego Muzeum Śląskiego, March 3rd, 2006
Spotkanie w sprawie Muzeum Śląskiego, February 10th, 2006
Kamień węgielny pod Nowe Muzeum Śląskie, December 7th, 2005
Zagraniczni eksperci o kształcie nowego Muzeum Śląskiego, November 24th, 2005
Ostatnia szychta w KWK, June 13th, 2005
Muzeum Sztuki. Od Luwru do Bilbao, April 25th, 2005
Cztery wizje nowego Muzeum Śląskiego March 3rd, 2005
Przekazanie terenu pod budowę Muzeum Śląskiego w Katowicach, December 30th, 2004
Nowe Muzeum Śląskie w roku 2010, November 16th,2004
Przyszłość Muzeum Śląskiego, November 10 th, 2004
Muzeum Śląskie w ślad za europejskimi trendami, November 8th, 2004
Nowa lokalizacja dla Muzeum Śląskiego, October 14th, 2004
Wspólnie dla Muzeum Śląskiego, August 9th, 2004
Lokalizacja nowej siedziby Muzeum Śląskiego, August 2nd, 2004
Spotkanie w muzeum, August 19th, 2004
O nowej siedzibie Muzeum Śląskiego, November 26th, 2003