An earlier proposal for the adaptive reuse of the Stara Kolpalnia coal mine in Walbrzych, Poland has new visualizations that show the progression of this ambitious renovation project. The Old Mine project encompasses more than four hectares of land and intends to reuse 16 post-mining buildings that are historic to the region. Designed by Nizio Design International, this complex will be finished in November, 2014, and will provide the region with modern spaces dedicated to culture, visual arts, and family entertainment.
The history of the Lower Silesia region in southwest Poland is entrenched in the carbon era of mining and industry. The 40,000 square meter Old Mine project honors this history and will include a museum of coal and interactive features showing the mining process. Though the museum is a large part of the project, other components such as an amphitheater, dancing rooms, and an art gallery will help make this an attraction for any visitor. There will also be a main exhibit in the museum on the history of the Polish Jews.
The architectural design of the renovation is both modern and clean. The original ramp concept has been finalized and modelled on the “gangway” of the underground mine. The zinc-titanium steel mesh and galvanized steel will help to emphasize the industrial nature of the complex. There is even a mesh cladding that will appear on the side of the chain bath building, which will serve as a screen for viewing films in the amphitheater. All the buildings that were once slated for demolition will now undergo a real metamorphosis.
The Old Mine project doesn’t just emphasize the economic and social transformative nature of an adaptive reuse; instead, it will also develop green space and family recreation places. Nizio Design International has proposed this recreation area over the former mine waste dump, and will provide good, safe entertainment for visitors and residents. This is the first Polish mine transformed into such a modern development, and it is part of a larger effort to revitalize the region, which is one of the poorest in Poland. The Stara Kopalnia has received the “Top Builder 2013” award by the Polish construction and architecture magazine Builder.