International Congress Centre (MCK) in Katowice

International Congress Centre (MCK) in Katowice

JEMS Architekci
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Piotr Krajewski - Architectural Photography

JEMS Architekci
© Piotr Krajewski -

International Congress Centre (MCK) in Katowice

Piotr Krajewski - Architectural Photography as Photographers

The International Conference Centre building in Katowice is a multifunctional, complex service facility, which ranks among public buildings. For the most part, it has been designed for guests who take part in the events organised there. However, it also has an area which is fully available for the public – it is a green passage which goes diagonally through the building’s roof where it takes on the shape of a valley, as well as the main foyer – the connecting area between two entrances: from the Honour Square’s side (in front of the arena complex called “Spodek” – the “Saucer”) and the second from the side of Olimpijska Street. Marking these spaces as public is a vital city-forming element for a post-industrial area where the MCK complex was designed. As to the main functions of the building, it is a place for congress, conference, exibition, fair and performance. (source:

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International Congress Centre Katowice

JEMS Architekci as Architects

The Katowice International Conference Centre project situated nearby the Spodek arena erected in 1962 posed a challenge in both urban planning and architectural terms. Spodek (meaning “Saucer” in Polish), a building ranked among the finest achievements of Poland’s contemporary architecture, and one of its foremost icons (created by the architects Maciej Gintowt and Maciej Krasiński), a symbol of Katowice and the Upper Silesian region, is an instance of unambiguous architecture with outstanding compositional features, whose value must not be diminished by any new development. But at the same time, both the scale and importance of the proposed new showcase for the city and the region, prompted a quest for an unambiguous, lucid and logical solution integrated into the fabric of this part of the city, dominated by the existing and planned large-scale structures (Spodek Arena, Silesian Mu-seum, Philharmonic Concert Hall).

The general philosophy behind the design was to create a facility with a value created not only by providing functional solutions of a utilitarian nature, but also by creating conditions for its existence within the social space of the city. The Centre building, with its straightforward, distinct and clear-cut form, has been integrated into the public space of the city through links provided along the city’s key axis connecting the “honorary” square in front of Spodek (also the main traffic node of Katowice) and the city’s oldest, historic district of Bogucice. The links are implemented in a two-fold manner: in the form of a public passageway across the main hall and foyer of the Centre (a link to be used especially during open events, such as fairs or exhibitions) and in the form of an external route running over the building roof (green valley), which may be used throughout the year for events such as outdoor exhibitions or happenings.

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