The museum, being created as an integral part of the Norblin Factory project revitalized by the Capital Park Group, registered its activity and agreed its rules and regulations with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. From now on, the ministry will provide the museum with substantive care and supervision. The official museum will open its exhibition in the second half of this year, and it will engage future visitors into four thematic sightseeing routes, numerous creative solutions in the field of new technologies, as well as a unique, open formula.
The museum will be one of the most important functions of the complex being revitalized by the Capital Park Group. After many years, an almost 2-hectare area in the heart of Warsaw’s Wola district, between Prosta, Łucka, and Żelazna streets, will be full of stories from its past centuries, presenting the Warsaw inhabitants and tourists visiting the city with interactive exhibitions regarding its history. Due to its specific nature – an open area with a preserved historic layout of 10 post-factory buildings and 50 machines and devices (42 of them registered as monuments), the Museum of the Norblin Factory will have a unique open character and will be available to all visitors of the complex, regardless of the purpose of their visit.
The exhibition will have a diversified character, where the museum and commercial zones will intertwine. Four sightseeing routes will be available there: Buildings and Architecture, Machines and Devices, People and Products. Visitors will begin their journey through the history of this area from the 18th century, when the factory still belonged to the property of Franciszek Ryx – King Stanisław August’s butler, through the heyday of the Norblin, Buch Brothers and T. Werner factory, to its post-war activity as a metal mill named Walcownia Metali Warszawa. The museum will also show the history of this place after 1982, when factory production ended. Visitors will learn about the lives of the Werner and Norblin families, as well as about significant figures in the history of the factory – such as Franciszek Ryx or Julia Keilowa – an outstanding designer from the interwar period, who worked for the most important Polish plating factories, including the Norblin Factory. She is the author of such pieces of art as the famous ball-shaped art deco sugar bowl, which went back to production after more than 85 years, as a limited series of reproductions made by the Museum of Norblin Factory. As part of one of the tour routes, the visitors will see a collection of over 600 plated goods – the products that made the factory famous at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries not only in Poland but also in Europe and the Transcaucasia region.
The museum will be full of the latest technological solutions in the area of multimedia and virtual reality, offering an almost tangible experience of moving back in time to the era when the factory was teeming with work.
– Virtually all the sightseeing paths intertwine with the communication routes of planned retail, leisure or office facilities. Each person entering the complex will encounter the history of this unique place at almost every step – thanks to the unique, open formula of the museum and to applied visual technologies – says Artur Setniewski, director of the Museum of Norblin Factory. – The visitors will be able to enjoy many interestingly arranged and engaging exhibitions. In one of them, for example, they will play the role of a factory furnace operator. The observation deck will be equipped with telescopes to admire the panorama. The telescopes, however, will not work as the typical ones, but with the use of a special knob, they will change the real and current view of a part of the factory area to its historical counterpart. Nevertheless, the most important thing for the museum visitors will be the possibility of real, tangible contact with original objects: post-factory buildings, machines recreating the full technological line of the factory and its products, preserved and restored with respect to their historical traces and accretions. We believe that this formula will be the best to tell the unique history of the Norblin Factory, which is an icon of the Warsaw industry. This is our tribute to such a long and significant tradition of this place, which will finally be duly presented and will reach not only the inhabitants of the city, but will also be a new attractive destination for tourists – adds A. Setniewski.
The visitors of the museum will be guided by a mobile application, which will include two models of sightseeing: a free route, containing the most important and comprehensive information about the factory, as well as additional content, aimed ad deepening knowledge about the place, available to visitors who purchase tickets. The paid version will also allow to use the additional multimedia functions of the exhibition. Due to the open nature of the museum, this space will be focused on independent sightseeing and exploring the history of Norblin, according to one’s own interests or to a given subject (it is possible to choose only one route, e.g. focused only on plated goods). Sightseeing options for school groups and voice guide systems for visitors unable to download the app are also planned. Various types of printed maps, catalogs and brochures will be also provided for people visiting the museum without the app. The content and scope of these materials will vary depending on the chosen option of visiting – a free tour or the one with tickets. There will also be a souvenir shop at the museum (available also online), offering such gifts and souvenirs as limited collection of reproductions of sugar bowls designed by Julia Keilowa.
– The Museum of the Norblin Factory is a modern and unique concept that we are particularly proud of. As an investor focusing on projects based on the idea of placemaking, we want to build communities around our destinations and shape their policy in such a way that they grow into the urban tissue and build its added value. We have great respect for the history of this place, but at the same time, we want to speak about this history in an attractive, vibrant, and interactive way. We encourage everyone to explore it on their own, and we present the story in such a way that it is interesting for everyone, regardless of age or knowledge about the Norblin Factory. We hope that the multitude of possible threads of learning about the history of the factory and the attractive formula of the exhibition will make the viewers come back to us many times, each time wanting to learn something new from the vast base of accessible knowledge that we prepared – sums up Kinga Nowakowska, member of the management board and operational director of Capital Park, in charge of the revitalization project of the Norblin Factory.
The Norblin factory will comprise 65 thousand sq.m. of usable area, 41,000 sq.m. of which are offices, and the remaining 24,000 sq.m. will be filled with entertainment, food, service, retail, culture and wellness concepts. The tenants of the revitalized Norblin Factory, in addition to BioBazar, will include a foodhall with over 30 food concepts (3,200 sq.m.), a boutique cinema with seven screens (3,300 sq.m.), Piano Bar with live music (408 sq.m.), as well as numerous restaurants. The office part of the complex will be a seat of such tenants as Allegro.pl (16,200 sq.m.) and the Global Business Services Center Japan Tobacco International (8,500 sq.m.). The first fully interactive and digital art gallery in Poland, ART BOX Experience, will occupy the space of nearly 800 sq.m. The planned completion date of the investment is the second half of 2021.
Capital Park Group is the investor and originator of the revitalization of the Norblin Factory. PRC Architekci studio is responsible for the architectural design. The main contractor is Warbud SA, in cooperation with Soletanche Polska, Maat4 and TKT Engineering. Monument Service is responsible for activities related to the conservation of monuments.