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Will life return to the Krystyna shaft in Bytom?

12 of April '24
w skrócie
  1. The history of the Bytom mining complex dates back to the 19th century. After the mine was closed in the 1990s, the tower of the Krystyna shaft was included in the register of monuments.
  2. Medusa Group is presenting its third project to develop the Krystyna shaft tower in Bytom.
  3. The plan includes combining office and service spaces with common spaces and a green terrace, while preserving the original structure.
  4. The architects' commitment to fighting for this unique monument gives hope for a positive solution to the situation.

  5. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal

Inscribed in the Bytom landscape, the tower of the Krystyna shaft has remained an unanswered question for many years. How, in the era of partial deindustrialization of Silesia, can such a monumental building be developed? For the third time, {tag:pracownie} comes to the rescue.

Before Krysia there was Willhelm

The history of this mining complex dates back to the 19th century, when Silesian industrial magnates from the von Schaffgotsch family established mines. The current shape is the result of reconstructions that took place during the deepening of the shaft in the 1920s and 1930s, when the mine complex was called Hohenzollerngrube.

It was then that the then Kaiser Willhelm shaft (renamed Christine after 1945) underwent significant transformations. On the site of the old shaft grew a new one - an approximately sixty-meter tall building built using steel construction technology with brickwork characteristic of the region. The distinct hammer shape distinguished the entire complex. The mine operated until the 1990s, so that in 2004 the tower building, along with the electrical machinery, was entered in the register of monuments.

Since then there have been at least a few ideas for its development.

zdjęcie kompleksu górniczego z 1937 roku

photo of the mining complex from 1937

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

welcome to the post-industrial world

The situation of many industrial monuments in Poland can be difficult, especially if we look at Bytom, which is struggling with a number of problems, including population decline. Finding one's way in a partially post-industrial reality is extremely difficult, and this also translates into the situation of monuments such as the Krystyna shaft.

The building had its first chance for a change in 2009, when a now-defunct developer held a competition to develop the site. Krystyna was supposed to be revived by creating a venue for events there. Unfortunately, nothing came of these plans.

zwycięski projekt Medusa Group z 2009 roku

Medusa Group's winning design from 2009

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

the heart still beats in Krysia

On November 19, 2022, four architects from the Medusa Group studio, Jan Wichrowski, Michal Sokolowski, Rafal Dziedzic and Przemo Lukasik enter the shaft site and organize a performance unique to the building. The sound of a beating heart comes out of a loudspeaker, and a red light smoulders in the windows, giving hope - the Krystyna shaft is still alive. The "S.O.S. action of the Krystyna shaft" organized by the architects made it possible to once again remember this unique monument.

akcja S.O.S. Szyb Krystyna

S.O.S. action Krystyna Shaft

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

However, architects from the Medusa Group studio did not stop there - they created another concept related to the shaft. The proposed solution involved stripping the building of its distinctive clinker brick and preserving the structure, which would serve as a viewing tower and vertical garden. This controversial approach recalled the tower, which gave the opportunity to continue the fight for its preservation.

propozycja Medusa Group na zachowanie samej konstrukcji zabytku

Medusa Group's proposal to preserve the monument's structure itself

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

an idea for today

The change of ownership allowed for renewed thinking about developing the site. The new investor turned to Przemo Lukasik's studio, which did the design for the reconstruction of the Krystyna shaft for the third time.

What will be in this complex? First of all, office and service spaces, which will be combined with common spaces and a green terrace. An important element of the project is the division of the whole into two phases, which, in a nutshell, consist of using both the shaft itself and adding to it in the least intrusive way possible new elements to enlarge the volume.

The project draws on the aesthetics of industrial buildings and clearly refers to the original elements of the Krystyna shaft, such as, for example, the profiles of the main steel structure, glass blocks and reinforced concrete elements. The new spaces will be realized on the basis of a skeletal structure, in a way that allows for future free expansion of the building with further stages indicated in the design concept," says Przemo Łukasik.

najnowszy projekt zagospodarowania (proj. Medusa Group)

latest development project (proj. Medusa Group)

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

hammer to sledgehammer mentality

The investor is counting on the use of EU funds, which he has already applied for. It remains to wait for further positive resolution of the situation around the Krystyna shaft. The revitalization of this complex can be a source of new pride for Bytomians, who as a community felt a sense of loneliness after many years of mining. What is unique about the shaft is the involvement of Medusa Group architects, who were ready to create further concepts and fight for this special monument.

podział na etapy w projekcie

project breakdown

© Courtesy of Medusa Group

developed by Wiktor Bochenek

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