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LETTERS

CONTRAST

History of “New Gliwice”

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It all started with….

New Gliwice Business and Education Center is a unique place that owes its “life” to the “Gliwice” Coal Mine. Two beautifully renovated brick buildings growing out of the ground at Bojkowska Street, which attract the eye from a distance, are the remains of the Gliwice mine from the first decade of the 20th century. It is hard to believe that today’s vibrant New Gliwice is a place where coal was once mined, miners prepared for work, and foremen handed out tasks…

In the twentieth century, an important point on the economic map of Gliwice was a coal mine, which extracted coal in the southern part of the city called Trynek. Until 1945, the plant was called “Gliwitzer Grube”, and after that date KWK “Gliwice”. Construction of this mining plant started in 1901 by combining 16 adjacent mining fields, which belonged to William Suermondt and a group of entrepreneurs from the Rhineland. However, it was not until nine years later that they started to drill shafts. This was preceded by exposition of offices, workshops, warehouses and employee rooms.

The first mining level, at a depth of 185 m, was established in 1911, and that is when the mining started, which was small at first. However, as early as 1930, annual production exceeded 500,000 tons of coal, and during the Second World War it reached almost 900,000 tons.

Along with the drilling of shafts, construction of the most characteristic mine building began. According to the design of architects – Emil and Georg Zillmann, who became famous as creators of the Katowice-based Giszowiec and Nikiszowiec, they started to build a huge waiting room with a bath, engine room and boiler room. All three buildings stood in one line on the north-south axis. After the Second World War, the Gliwice mine was still working for more than half a century – it was closed in 2000.

Along with the drilling of shafts, construction of the most characteristic mine building began. According to the design of architects – Emil and Georg Zillmann, who became famous as creators of the Katowice-based Giszowiec and Nikiszowiec, they started to build a huge waiting room with a bath, engine room and boiler room. All three buildings stood in one line on the north-south axis. After the Second World War, the Gliwice mine was still working for more than half a century – it was closed in 2000.

The real ornament of New Gliwice are renovated hundred-year-old waiting room and engine room buildings. Both historic buildings, although located deep into the plot, dominate the surroundings. Location of main entrance to the campus on the axis between buildings further emphasizes their rank.

The third building, boiler room, did not last until today. In the 1950s it was damaged by an explosion, after which it was demolished. In addition to waiting room – headquarters of the Gliwice Academy of Entrepreneurship, and engine room – adapted for offices and business incubator – the director’s villa was renovated, and a new building which was connected with waiting room with a steel and glass link was constructed on the foundations of the former management of the mine.

Wagon with the last ton of coal that honorably stands between the Waiting Room and the Engine Room is not the only remnant of the Mine. The New Gliwice project maintains the unchanged external appearance of historical objects of the former Gliwice mine. Elevations were cleaned and the roofing was replaced. New aluminum and wooden joinery strictly reproduces original divisions of glazing. The aim was to preserve original floors, balustrades and clinker wall cladding.

EUR 24 million was spent on the implementation of the project, including EUR 9.5 million from European funds. Finally, works have been completed in 2008. Area and facilities of the New Gliwice are managed by the Upper Silesian Agency for Entrepreneurship and Development Ltd.

HISTORICAL DETAILS OF THE “GLIWICE” MINE

CONSTRUCTION STARTED IN 1910 r.
COAL EXTRACTION STARTED IN 1912 r.
ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBERSHIP GLIWICE
MINING AREA 101,7 KM2
AVERAGE DAILY EXTRACTION 4 500 TONS/ DAY
MINING DEPTH 35,2 A
TYPE OF COAL DUST, FINE
AVERAGE NET CALORIFIC VALUE IN COAL OVER 30 000 KJ/KG
MINE WAS CLOSED IN 2000

 

Gallery of the facility – archival photos, before revitalization