U-boat Hall, from a war warehouse to an artistic oasis

Gdańsk Shipyard Centre, CSG, U-boat Hall, Montownia, Hall 89 A, the old building on Lisia Grobla Street. Different names. One place. Preserved among the post-shipyard area, this five-storey building of reinforced concrete monolithic construction with three staircases shows up as one of the most singular buildings in Gdansks’ shipyard. Its story and appearance are now in the spotlight. Upcoming challenges for this and the whole area are due to begin and so, we took the opportunity to visit it before works start.

U-boat, German U-boot, abbreviation of Unterseeboot, (“undersea boat”), a German submarine.

The hall was built between 1936-1938 and historical studies show that in 1941-1945 the building was used to store and test engines for u-boats, and the basement had fuel bunkers. From here, hulls and parts were delivered to German submarines, and probably there was also a dynamometer for engines. That is why the building was called the “U-boat assembly plant”. – Ewa Budnik, journalist at Trojmiasto.pl

After the war, the building – in the style of monumental modernism – served as the main warehouse of the Gdańsk Shipyard. To this day, among others, cranes, freight elevators and balustrade elements have been preserved in good condition.

The shipyard’s activity ended in 1996, says Budnik, and since then artists and musicians saved it from ruin. At the turn of the century, the Kazamata disco was established here, and in 2004, the building was named the Gdańsk Shipyard Centre and became the home of the European Centre for Culture and Education.

Almost a year later, partial demolitions took place here, exposing cobbled pre-war tracks, concrete floors, gates and galleries.

In spring 2019 the area, together with the U-boat hall, was bought by Euro Styl developer, a real state company. Jointly with the Local Council of Gdansk, they have planned a revitalization of the whole area throughout cooperation and a reasonable solution which allowed both parts be satisfied: move forward with new projects at Montownia while the value of the building is preserved and conservation is a key aspect to take into account, says Radosław Beneda, director of investment preparation department in Euro Styl to Trojmiasto.pl.

The space will be revived to put up restaurants, open food and beverage spaces, boutique shops, and spaces for conferences and cultural events.

The opportunity to visit the U-boat Hall was carried out by IgersGdansk)

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