University of Silesia, Faculty of Radio and Television

Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner Sharing Public Spaces

University of Silesia Faculty of Radio and Television; Brick Award 2020 Category "Sharing Public Spaces"; Architects: BAAS Arquitectura, Grupa 5 artchitekci, Maleccy biuro, Photo:  Adrià Goula
© Adrià Goula
University of Silesia Faculty of Radio and Television; Brick Award 2020 Category "Sharing Public Spaces"; Architects: BAAS Arquitectura, Grupa 5 artchitekci, Maleccy biuro, Photo:  Adrià Goula
© Adrià Goula

Key facts

Silesia University's Radio and TV Department

Architects  BAAS Arquitectura (Spain), Grupa 5 architekci (Poland), Maleccy biuro projektowe (Poland)

Location   Katowice, Poland

Construction period   2014 - 2017

Nomination category   Sharing Public Spaces

Purpose   Education

Brick type   Facing bricks


 

About the project

Historically and architecturally, Katowice is a richly layered if darkly cinematic city. In the 19th century, its coalmines, steel mills, foundries and brickworks paid for grand boulevards. Fought over by the Nazis and Soviets in the 1940s, it was ravaged and the old city streets with many attractive buildings were torn down. Today, the city is known for its culture rather than coal mining. Here, in the Chiaroscuro core of the city, is a magical new building that marries Katowice's history to the city's future. A surviving dark brick tenement building has been renovated and wrapped in a screen of bricks sheltering a new university faculty of radio and television. 

Behind the dark brick screen, the faculty building opens up into new spaces, light when they need to be, shadowy and even a little dark, too, with the classrooms and studios surrounding the inner courtyard. The brick curtain is made of the same material as the surviving 19th century house, so the building has a consistency of texture. These bricks - burned in Europe's last coal-fuelled kilns - are nuanced with dark sintering and graduations of color used throughout the building.

The architects show how a city center building can be innovative and, at the same time, a guardian and interpreter of the past. This is a haunting design and a pitch perfect setting for film students.

“The dark and stained brick is full of meanings that speak about the past and the Silesian coal mines.”