Zuzanna Mielczarek

Design as Politics

Image: Silesian romanticism - architecture and landscape

Re-claim Silesia

A strategic proposal for a long-term urban remodelling of post-mining economies and landscapes.

Spatial interventions: Reclaimed Material Community Center as a key building of the new long-term masterplan in Bytom, Upper Silesia, Poland.

The Upper Silesian area in Southern Poland is a cradle of formerly prosperous industrial legacy. The coal mines have not just been a centre of work but also a place of friendship and shared celebrations. Along with their fall, the whole community lost its prior identity, putting it in need of new models of labour and living. At the same time, most of the former miners are still alive, adrift in the post-industrial spirit and landscape.  

The project puts the aspect of the “post” into question. It draws from the current limbo to reinterpret traditions and roots to form new urban systems, contemporary, but embedded in the atmosphere of the past. The study investigates the idea of reinterpretation by reclaiming the labour identity, building typology, construction material, energy, land and as a result - community. Silesian romanticism together with rediscovered allotment garden planning let nostalgia create new urban value.