Silesia CIty Center, Katowice
The largest shopping and recreation centre in all of Central Eastern Europe – in terms of area – is located in the Upper Silesian city of Katowice. The 235,000-square-metre complex houses 250 commercial units including the supermarket chain Tesco and the electronics retailer Saturn. It was expressly designed to be more than just a shopping mall with retail and business space. Instead, as a meeting point for the population, it was designed to offer opportunities for relaxation as well as cultural and recreational activities.
Silesia City is associated with another superlative. The property was once home to companies in the coal industry, which necessitated an extensive recultivation of the landscape prior to building the complex. The area that was recultivated is to date the largest of its kind in Europe.
The buildings that belong to the complex show a wide range of shapes, materials and colours. The design satisfies the basic idea of creating a dynamic, universal centre of attraction for visitors. Round structures are interspersed with rectangular buildings. Uniformly- coloured individual façades are in contrast to those with intense colours. Glass, steel and ceramic come together spontaneously. The closed surfaces are clad primarily with terracotta tiles — some smooth and some profiled — in shades from beige to brickred. Worth mentioning are the curved TERRART® elements, which can be seen over the entrance area, for instance. Grey ceramic bands positioned at regular intervals create a striped look. The canopy sits on rectangular columns that are conically tapered toward the top. This form is taken up again in the robust, red, wedge-shaped support structures of the adjacent building.
Silesia City is an expression of the overall spirit of optimism in the country. Colourful, lively, future-oriented, and aligned with the social needs of the population, it serves to enhance the landscape of the city of Katowice as an important architectural ensemble.