Szombierki Power Plant, Bytom, POLAND
A Modernist power plant with huge potential for reuse is threatened by the risk of demolition. Szombierki functioned for almost 80 years and is one of the last hard-coal powered electric power plants in Europe. For the past two decades, it has been vacant and slowly deteriorated in spite of several efforts to turn the site over to cultural uses.
The monumental Modernist architecture is characterised by its grand facades of dark red brick and its three slender chimneys. In size and capacity, it can take inspiration from similar power plants found in the United Kingdom, such as the Battersea Power Station and the Bankside Power Station (Tate Modern), both of which have been successfully converted to cultural use.
Leaking roofs and windows together with vandalism and theft have accelerated the degradation of the site. Little maintenance has been carried out by the private owner, nor financing been made available to adapt the site to new uses. If solutions cannot be found for Szombierki, the plant will face demolition.
The Foundation for the Protection of Silesian Industrial Heritage, the nominator of the site, supports the preservation of this important and representative element of Silesia’s industrial heritage.