fot. Ziemowit Cabanek,, licencja: CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

Stalexport skyscrapers. They are one of the symbols of Katowice

The skyscrapers were built for the state-owned company Stalexport. Their design in the 1970s was prepared by the Yugoslav architect Georg Gruićić. At the time of their commissioning, they were the largest buildings in Poland outside of Warsaw.

The Stalexport complex consists of two towers. The first is 99m in total height and the second 92m. This translates into 22 and 20 storeys respectively. The taller building was built in 1981, the slightly lower one a year later. The buildings were intended to proudly symbolise the power of the state, its progressiveness. Initially, the buildings housed the offices of the Foreign Trade Headquarters. In later years, the premises were allocated to a number of tenants, including the Silesian Tourist Organisation, the Silesian Medical University and Radio Planeta.

The skyscrapers were built in a unique construction. They are three-storey blocks, which is why they were built “from the top”. In the three-storey base, the architect designed the service areas. The construction of the towers themselves began with a reinforced concrete core, which houses the circulation paths and technical installations. The next step was to super-impose the ceilings onto the core. Steel cables were used for this. This was not the first construction of this type in Poland. Previously, a three-tower building had been constructed in Wrocław (read more HERE). However, it is the Katowice skyscrapers that are the tallest of their kind in Poland.

Stalexport buildings in 1989, author of photo unknown, source: National Digital Archive

The construction of the towers themselves took almost two years. The sophisticated building materials were imported specially from Sweden. A distinctive feature of the skyscrapers are the tendons supporting the floors. These have been deliberately exposed, giving the buildings an original appearance. Building space is planned for 1,800 people.

source: NAC, Stalexport

Read also: Katowice | Skyscraper | Architecture of the People’s Republic of Poland | Curiosities | whiteMAD on Instagram

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