centrum Katowic
Kamienice w przyszłości. Fot. okkpr.pl

Major investment in the centre of Katowice. Tenement houses on Dworcowa Street will undergo modernisation

A wide-ranging investment will soon begin in the centre of Katowice, changing the face of the Silesian capital and strengthening its attractiveness for both residents and tourists. A number of tenement houses from the second half of the 19th century will be modernised and restored at Dworcowa Street. The buildings, which have been neglected and partly abandoned until now, will be given a new lease of life, and their interiors will house, among others, hotels and offices.

The Dworcowa Quarter investment will bring life back to a neighbourhood that until recently was haunted by emptiness and dilapidated facades. More local buildings are undergoing major renovations. In recent years, the old railway station has regained its former glory – the facade details in the Viennese Art Nouveau style have been painstakingly restored. New spaces will be created in the interiors of the rebuilt townhouses, which will be adapted for the use of commercial premises and offices. They will also be joined by two hotels of brands belonging to the Marriott International portfolio. The investor, the Epione Group from Katowice, has already received a building permit and a general contractor for the construction work will also be selected soon.

The buildings at present. Photo Bartek Barczyk

centrum Katowic

Between 2015 and 2023, the developer acquired 11 townhouses forming the frontage between Dyrekcyjna and Mielęckiego Streets from various institutions and private individuals. The buildings were erected in the 1870s. They housed the headquarters of the railway directorate and its agencies. In the 1960s, the complex was converted into railway clinics. Over the decades, the historic buildings on Dworcowa Street lost their importance. Successive, ad hoc redevelopments stripped the existing urban structure of its decoration and historical detail. Haphazard additions have largely obliterated the original character of the buildings.

Tenement houses in the centre of Katowice in the early 20th century and today. Photo: okkpr.pl, Google Maps

“I bought these townhouses because they charmed me with their location, appearance and surroundings. I can’t hide the fact that this was accompanied by a sentimental thread – I used to be an employee of the Railway Treatment Clinic that existed there, so I often visited the building. Initially, I intended to open an outpatient clinic there, but the municipal authorities decided to make the station square into an ‘urban salon’, which led to a change in plans,” says Narcyz Wrześniewski, CEO of Epione Group.

Dworcowa Street in the early 20th century and today. Photo: okkpr.pl, Google Maps

At the beginning of 2024, the investment received planning permission. This will make it possible to start renovation and construction work in a few months. According to the Epione Group, a tender is currently underway to select a general contractor. It should be concluded by the end of June. For more than two years, the chief architect of the project has been Tomasz Konior, the author of the project of the famous NOSPR in Katowice, which houses one of the best concert halls in the world. So there is a chance that the Dworcowa Quarter will become not only the favourite place of Katowice residents, but also architecture of the highest level.

The buildings today and after reconstruction. Photo Bartek Barczyk and okkpr.pl

The architects from Konior Studio collected the available archival material. Based on the documentation they have prepared, the original character of the historic facades will be reconstructed. The rich ornamentation, including damaged cornices and balconies, will be reconstructed. The extraneous superstructure will be replaced by a modern structure that will match the scale of the neighbouring buildings. Its oval corner will emphasise the location of the cupola once located there. The ground floors of the townhouses will be accessible directly from the pavement. There will be spacious entrances to the individual buildings, restaurants and services. Parking for cars and bicycles is planned in the underground section.

The ambition of the creators of the Dworcowa Quarter is to set new trends in revitalisation, making use of the tradition of compact bourgeois townhouses with an attractive form and modern function.

Source: okkpr.pl Olga Kisiel-Konopka

Photos: Bartek Barczyk

Read also: Architecture in Poland | Katowice | Metamorphosis | Renovation | whiteMAD on Instagram

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