Creator: Piotr Gerber
Publisher: Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology
Rights: Approval to upload a pdf of each article to the Big Stuff website provided by the Editor-in-Chief of the Architectus journal, with an acknowledgement that they were published by Architectus and the link to the Architectus issue they are in.
Introduction: Industrial development started with new sources of energy. Use of hard coal as an energy carrier supported the production of the mechanical energy required to power machines from the end of the 18th century onwards. Progress in metallurgy resulting from the use of coke to melt iron as early as the beginning of the 18th century resulted in large scale application of iron in technological developments. Inventions in metallurgy and mechanics resulted in the construction of machines that materially support-ed the growing production potential of consumer goods while reducing the associated costs. The availability of goods manufactured in mechanised production processes improved the quality of people’s lives.
In the 19th century industry became the most important factor in supporting the development of civilisation. Indus-trial facilities grouped in economic centres developed new spaces of an unprecedented scale. Industrial buildings, including smoking chimneys, remained symbols of progress and development until the mid-20th century. The industry changed the appearance of cities. The dynamic development of civilisation supported by industrial development resulted in uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources.
Steelworks, mines, textile factories and a number of other industrial facilities were for years the pride of their employees and the citizens living nearby. With the economic transformation process at the end of the 20th century, however, these facilities started to be seen as examples of technological and social backwardness. Today it has become exceedingly difficult to find the silhouettes of blast furnaces, mine shafts, cooling towers or the brick chimneys of former boiler houses in the landscapes of Polish cities.
Reference: Piotr Gerber 2020, ‘Comments on the protection of historic industrial facilities, experience in Silesia’, Big Stuff 2019, Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology
|Gerber, Piotr. (2019). Comments on the protection of historic industrial facilities, experience in Silesia. http://doi.org/10.37190/arc200109|