Auditorium of Academy of Music uncovers polychromies

The restoration project of the Academy of Music’s main building was commenced in March this year. Within the scope of works, the most spectacular will be the renovation of the Bolesław Szabelski Auditorium’s interior located at the second floor of the building. Monumental polychromies were recently uncovered in the auditorium.

© Academy of Music in Katowice; visualization of the facade of the main building of the Academy of Music
© Academy of Music in Katowice; visualization of the facade of the main building of the Academy of Music

The historic building of the academy is located at 33 Wojewódzka St. As a result of the restoration works, the exceptional ornaments and decorations of the room will be brought to light. The hall will also be equipped with specially designed pipe organ and approximately 150 seats. „It will be a very unexceptional challenge, as the polychromies had been covered for several dozen years and the documentation of the art work is incomplete. The decoration covers the area of about 550 sq. meters. We will spend 25 percent of the construction work budget for the restoration of these polychromies” – said Joanna Masarczyk-Bełz, project coordinator.

The auditorium is special for the academy not only because of its aesthetic values but also due the the historical background. „The building was the first seat of the Silesian Seym in the interwar period, while the first session of the seym took place in this auditorium in 1922” – added Katarzyna Michałek-Jung, also involved in the project.

Apart from the restoration of the auditorium, following works are planned: renovation of the roof including the attic ceiling elements of the building and improvement of the natural ventilation, renovation of the building facade, restoration of the main door, replacement and restoration of windows as well as renovation of the building fence.

In March 2016, when the restoration works are scheduled to be concluded, a joint concert of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music and the Norway’s Grieg Academy of the University of Bergen will be organized at the Bolesław Szabelski Auditorium. The selected periodic events which will also be organized at the auditorium after completing the renovation.

The renovation project – called „Redevelopment of the monumental facility of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice” – is being conducted within the financial support from the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the scope of the programme entitled „Restoration and Redevelopment of Cultural Heritage”.

The EEA Grants and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 16 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe. Country allocations are based on population size and GDP per capita, making Poland the largest beneficiary state.

The total value of the project amounts to PLN 10,66 million. The amount of subsidy from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism is PLN 8,97 million, while the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s support totals PLN 1,58 million. The remaining amount of the project budget was provided by the academy.

The works are being conducted by Furmanek Renewal. The renovation project was prepared by the Archikwant architectural studio from Bytom.