A rich heritage of industrial development of past centuries have left Katowice with a high concentration of historical-industrial objects. Recent investments in the revitalization of old industrial sites are helping the City to reform its image. Another great example is the Szyb Wilson (Wilson Shaft) art gallery in the Nikiszowiec district. Located in a former mine shaft of the Wieczorek coal mine, the gallery is an investment by real estate firm Pro-Invest. The coal mine buildings were operated there until 1977.
Officially opened in 2001, the gallery soon garnered acclaim among Katowice’s cultural crowd, holding concerts, exhibitions, festivals and promoting young artists through its foundation, Eko-Art Silesia. The exposition area covers 2 500 sq. m in three chambers. Some office and warehouse spaces were also delivered.
“We were inspired by similar initiatives around the world, for example the Tate Gallery, and we decided to renovate the facility,” Johann Bros, the president of Pro-Invest explained to WBJ, stressing that the investment is not based on a desire for monetary profit. “We cannot forget that there are investments which bring a non-material return, and such activities offer plenty of satisfaction,” he said.
Szyb Wilson is not the only investment by Johann Bros, as his company purchased and renovated the Mokrskich Brewery in Katowice, which he renovated and now leases out. Bros also serves as patron for a range of other projects in Upper Silesia.
based on Warsaw Business Journal