The first competition for the solid of the Museum of Silesia from 1929 did not meet with the approval of the authorities. The functional and modern museum building erected in 1936-1939 according to a project by architect Karol Szayer was pulled down in 1941-1944 at the request of the authorities of the Third Reich. In 1986, two years after the restitution of the Museum of Silesia in Katowice, a competition for a new seat was announced and its winners chosen. Work on the project lasted until 1990, when it was halted due to the priority given to a new building for the Silesian Library. The topic was broached once again in 1999, the year of the establishment of a Committee for the Construction of the New Building of the Museum of Silesia. The patrons were Archbishop Damian Zimon, the metropolitan bishop of Katowice, and Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland. The municipal authorities granted the Museum a plot with an area of 5,7 hectares. The lack of opportunities for winning funds for the new investment became the reason why the authorities of the voivodeship, the KWK 'Katowice' mine complex and the Museum decided to exchange plots - that of the Museum for former mine terrains. On 31 December 2004 the Museum of Silesia became the owner of more than twenty devastated buildings of the 'Katowice' mine which had stopped extracting coal in 1999. A town-planning and architectural competition for a plan of adapting the postindustrial objects and the construction of new objects connected with the old development was announced in June 2005. The winners of the competition had been selected, and studies and preparatory work were commenced. On 7 December 2005 a foundation act was walled into the elevation of the 'Bartosz' pit shaft engine room. In 2006 the Museum of Silesia became the investor of the new venture. A three-stage functional-utilitarian plan was set up. The first stage will involve the realization of the new building intended for art collections and galleries as well as conservation ateliers. The four-storey museum, with an area of about. 15 000 square meters and a cubature of 120 000 cubic metres, will be designed by the winner of the open architectural competition to be announced at the end of 2006. The second stage encompasses the adaptation of the old post-industrial architecture of the 'Bartosz' pit complex and the 'Warszawa I' pit engine room, the electric workshops, the water-tower of the 'Warszawa I' pit, the baths of the mine supervisors and the work clothes storehouse. The 'Bartosz' pit complex and the newly built pavilions will feature the history of Silesia and industry of the Upper Silesian region, while the 'Gwarek' baths will display expositions about the SiIesian uprisings of 1919, 1920 and 1921. The pulled down objects, i. a. the so-called millennium baths, will be replaced by a new building intended for museum expositions of the departments of ethnography, archaeology and art. Buildings designed with educational objectives in mind (audiovisual and conference halls) will be raised next to the electric workshops. The watertower and the 'Warszawa' pit tower will be used as panorama objects, and the baths of the mine supervisors will be adapted for a Polish Stage Design Centre.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.