On Friday, 26th of June, the Silesian Museum officially opened gates of its new seat located in the post-industrial site of the „Katowice” coal mine in the area of the so called culture district.
The construction work’s inauguration took place in July 2011. The works were carried out by the consortium of two companies: Budimex and Ferrovial Agroman. The building was handed over to the Silesian Museum in January 2014. It took over a year to move all items to the new venue and to prepare exhibitions. Today, almost 25 000 sq. meters of usable space including 6 000 sq. meters destined for exhibition purposes are located at 1 Dobrowolskiego St.
The new Silesian Museum houses items from different fields of art, as well as archaeological, ethnographic and historical artifacts. The building has all of the museum’s exhibition space buried under the ground with only glass tower skylight extensions (so called glass boxes) and administrative building visible above.
Following exhibitions are host in the underground levels: History of Upper Silesia, Silesian Sacral Art, Center for Polish Scenography, exhibitions of Polish painting and temporary exhibitions. The most spectacular is the History of Upper Silesia exhibitions designed by Adventure and built by Qumak. The company erected the exhibition for over PLN 11,5 million. It is called „The light of history” and presents the development of the region starting from B.C. ages. The last spot of the exhibition is a microchip designed in Bytom. The history was shown in a modern and attractive way using lights, sound, scenography and reconstructive areas. The exposition is located in 22 rooms of the museum and covers 1 365 sq. meters.
Along with exhibition spaces, the complex also includes a panoramic elevator attached to a former mine shaft tower and which leads to a view point at the tower’s top, auditorium for 320 spectators, 12,5-meters high multifunctional hall, administration offices and workshops, souvenirs shop and a cafe, as well as a three-storey underground car park for 232 vehicles. Also, two former coal mine’s buildings – engine room and working clothes storage – were renovated and now are the integral part of the new seat. The first of the two facilities will be used as a restaurant and the second one was converted into the premises of the Center for Polish Scenography.
The entire complex and the surroundings are placed on a 2,7 ha plot. The architectural project was prepared by Riegler Riewe Architekten from Graz, Austria. The investment cost totals PLN 273 million. 85% of the amount was financed from the EU funds. The Silesian Marshall Office is an investor of the undertaking.