The story of cup-shaped pillars

Neinver Polska, an investor of the mixed-use complex being built at Szewczyka Sq., prepared a three-minute video showing how was erected the first reconstructed cup-shaped pillar of the new Railway Station. Through the kind offices of Budus S.A., a building company which raised the original pillars last century, we also present photos of works on the former “umbrellas”.

The original pillars and the main Station’s hall were built by a so called “Katowicka Przemysłówka” (the company was converted into “Katowickie Przedsiębiorstwo Budownictwa Przemysłowego” Budus in 1992). The building was delivered in 1972. The firm had even created a special department involved in the construction work.

© “Katowickie Przedsiębiorstwo Budownictwa Przemysłowego” Budus S.A.; archive photos presenting works on the former “umbrella” pillars, unauthorized copying forbidden.

The Katowice Railway Station was designed by notable Polish architects called Warsaw Tigers: Wacław Kłyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzyński and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki. The construction was worked out by a world-renowned engineer Wacław Zalewski, Professor Emeritus of Structural Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The building was an example of the world’s engineering and Brutalist architecture.

The former pillars and the Station’s building were demolished in January last year due to the works on the Neinver’s multipurpose complex (the new Station’s building, Galeria Katowicka shopping center, underground bus station and office building). The most famous part of the construction was the sixteen pillars characterized by exposed rough concrete revealing the textures of the wooden forms in which it had been poured. The wooden formworks were hand-made. It was also unique because of the thin-walled structure of the pillars, which were empty inside. In view of the high architectural value, Neinver has committed oneself to reconstruct the “umbrellas” corresponding to the originals.

The first reconstructed pillar was finished late March this year. Another scaffoldings and formworks are being prepared in the meantime to construct following “umbrella” pillars, 16 in total.

“The new pillars will be exactly the same as the former ones. We just had to change the concrete consistency to double its structural strength and to adjust reinforcements to present engineering standards” – said Antoni Pomorski, Project Manager at Neinver Polska.

Learn more about the reconstruction of the first pillar: