Szczecin is a post-industrial city on the Odra River near the Baltic Sea in north-west Poland. Until the end of WWII it was one of strategic ports for Germany. Vast amount of sea-related transport and industry buildings was built here. Some of them even survived the 1945 carpet bombings of harbour areas. Structures which were left intact were used by polish marine companies. Now, because of the transformation of harbour services the industry leaves those structures which are left for deterioration or simply demolished. To prevent that we want to bring the attention of citizens to those powerful structures and to their potential, which is waiting to be used.
The great modernist Grain Silo Ewa from the 1930-ties is now free of its original function. When built it was one of the largest and most up-to-date structures of its time in Europe. It always had bulky and powerful presence on the Odra River. Its orthogonally shaped, reinforced concrete mass sits on the Ewa Peninsula in the vicinity of another landmark location – an iconic complex of Chrobry Embankment.
Recently the city government expressed the will to build a new house for the Contemporary Theatre of Szczecin on the Lastadie Island. Why should we build a new building? – a question rised. Why not reinvent existing structure of Grain Silo Ewa as a grand new house for Contemporary Theatre of Szczecin? It is already there, has a historical, industrial and sea related meaning. It’s an instant super-powerful landmark. It easily could become as recognizable as the Tate Modern for London or Elbphilharmonie for Hamburg.
The project aims to remind citizens and city government of the valuable remnants of city’s great industrial past in the form of powerful buildings, to show to the public what those structures could become, to rediscover abandoned and sometimes forgotten structures as new pieces of city life. The post-industrial legacy sits in the very core of Szczecin’s identity. We want to discover and to show the existing potential. We should not lose it. We should take care of it and protect it.
project info: location: Szczecin, Poland architect: S.LAB architecture / Tomasz Sachanowicz status: proposal www.s_lab.republika.pl