This is the story of of the conversion of a lamp-room into a loft, surrounded by what used to be some of Poland’s richest coal mines. Polish architect Przemyslaw Lukasik and his family elected to live in one of the abandoned buildings of the defunct Bolko mine in Bytom, a city in Upper Silesia in southern Poland. For centuries, the area was known for its coal mines and steelworks. Today, many have been decommissioned, but some continue to function.
The miners exited this building through a corridor that led to the mineshaft; they entered here after having donned their work clothing. Each took a lantern and left a metal pit tally engraved with his personal number. The numbers here went from 1 to 2,000, because there were 2,000 miners. When a miner came back up, he put the lamp back and retrieved his tally. A hanging lamp meant the miner had come back up. Here, we are perched up at 8.5 meters above ground level thanks to a rationalization of one of the engineers, who wanted to facilitate traffic circulation. The miners did not have to go down the stairs first, then go up to the shaft to be shuttled down to the bottom of the mine pit. This way, they were protected from the weather and had safe access to the shaft, which went 60 meters underground.
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