Upper Silesian District building, currently the Opole Voivodeship Office, Opole
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Upper Silesian District building, currently the Opole Voivodeship Office

Opole

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The building is an excellent example of a public utility building erected in Neues Bauen style. The creation of a modernist building in this location required the demolition of the Piast castle, from which only the tower was preserved. The picturesquely situated building plays an important role in the development of urban space: located in one of the main streets in the very heart of the city, it is a dominant feature visible from a wide perspective. It was entered into the register of monuments as the only modernist building in Opole.

History

Around 1928, the president of the Upper Silesian district, Dr Alfons Proske, decided to demolish the Piast Castle on Ostrówek, i.e., the northern part of the Pasieka Island, which was in poor technical condition. Under the influence of protests, the fortified tower which is a symbol of the city was saved and has been preserved to this day. The site formerly occupied by the castle was used for the construction of the headquarters of the Opole district according to a design by architect Friedrich (or Konrad) Lehmann selected for implementation. The design was later changed, among others, in terms of the layout of the southern wings and the position towards the Piast Tower. The work on the construction of the modern office building was interrupted as a result of finding the remnants of the tenth-century Slavic settlement, which required archaeological work. Eventually, the building was completed according to various sources in 1932, 1933 or 1935. In addition to the office of the district, it also housed the apartment of the president of the district (in the eastern part) and the local administration (in the west wing). After World War II, it was the seat of the Provincial National Council, then the Voivodeship Office. In 1957 the crown of the Piast tower was altered, replacing the zinc cone with a masonry spire with an iron-cut Piast eagle. Post-war changes included, among others, the installation of an external glazed lift on the front façade and change in the shape of the windows on the ground floor in the connecting section.

Description

The building is located in the northern part of the Pasieka Island, between the Odra River and Młynówka channel, in Piastowska Street. To the south of the building, there is the Castle Pond which is a remnant of the moat, and next to it is the wooden Icehouse. To the west there is the Piast Tower, behind which there is the Opole Amphitheatre located on the site formerly occupied by an early medieval fortified settlement. On the south side of the building, there is a narrow green belt, adjacent to the pond.

The free-standing modernist building consists of several segments arranged on a broken line. The main part is the seven-storey north wing, which is supported by three rows of steel pillars in the middle part. The southern part of the complex consists of a two-storey wing curved in the form of an arch and located almost perpendicularly to the main wing and connected to it by a connecting section. In the corner between the wings there is the cylindrical Piast Tower, which is a counterweight to the horizontally stretched body. The building has a basement under all of its sections and is covered with flat roofs.

It was erected as a steel timber-frame structure. The walls are made of brick; all rooms are covered with flat ceilings. The façades are covered with ceramic and sandstone tiles, divided by rows of windows in a strip-like arrangement; single windows on the ground floor are round in shape. The floor and pillars in the main corridor are covered with a stone cladding; wooden external blinds have been partially preserved.

Parts of the interior décor, including an operational paternoster lift, have been preserved.

compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 16-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Schiedlansky G., Die Bau und Kunstdenkmäler des Stadtkreises Oppeln, G. Schiedlansky, Breslau 1939.
  • Störtkuhl B., Moderne Architektur in Schlesien 1900 bis 1939. Baukultur und Politik, Oldenburg 2013, pp. 319-322.
  • Śląsk. Zabytki sztuki w Polsce, collective work, Warsaw 2006, p. 647.
  • Opole. Dzieje i tradycja, Link B., Tarka K., Zajączkowska U. (eds.), Opole 2011, p. 214.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1931-1933
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Piastowska 14, Opole
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district Opole, commune Opole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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