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  • The Promised Land

    Silesia Museum, Katowice

    Archtiects: Florian Riegler, Roger Riewe
    Text: György Szegő
    Photos: Riegler Riewe Architekten


    Founded in 1924 as a project of European cooperation, the Silesia Museum enlivened and moved in the ruins of the area formerly occupied by heavy industry. The model it was built after was the region-scale revitalisation concept which gave a momentum to the Ruhr region on a standstill as the European Cultural Capital in 2010. It also brought about the rebirth of entire artificial and lifeless landscapes on the other side of the former Germany. Here, however, the project was not backed by support from the cultural capital: the concept originally focussed on posterior utilization. The Silesian Museum simultaneously honours the memory of the flourishing period of the industries of the city, whilst the clients also commissioned architects to design and integrate archaeological, ethnographical and historical spaces of museology. The new man-made landscape was redrawn as that of harmonious hills with gentle slopes by glass cubes of various dimensions. At one end of the slopes composed of rectangular elements, the tower of the mine shaft resembling a piece of constructivist sculpture was preserved whilst on the other side there is the old four-storey block of the museum also wrapped in a glazed facade.
    A similar large form houses the conference, seminary and auditorium functions. The boxes of the glass cubes double as the skylights of the underground units with a substantial floor area. The large hall underground with its multi-functional faculties has grown into the centre of the whole museum.

    Architects: Florian Riegler, Roger Riewe – Riegler Riewe Architekten
    Fellow architects: Paulina Kostyra-Dzierżęga, Mikolaj Szubert-Tecl, Anna Zbieranek, Markus Probst, Nicole Lam, Lavinia Floricel, Minoru Suzuki, Bettina Tóth, Bartlomiej Grzanka, Tomasz Kabelis-Szostakowski, Dorota Żurek, Pawel Skóra
    Structure: Firma Inżynierska STATYK
    Elevation glasswork: Glas Marte
    Glass profiles: Längle Glas GmbH
    Lights: Zumtobel, Fagerhult, Veliero
    Main contractor: Budimex S.A.
    Client: Szilézia Múzeum