Softening plant, pump station and boiler house, a set of turbines by Brown Boveri in the engine room, the control centre, the workers' locker room with factory clothing and everyday objects from the 1930s to the 1990s, a coal yard with conveyor belts, ash pit and steam turbine rotors, and the 40-metre-high cooling tower with its visitor platform open in summer: All of this - preserved in its original state or carefully restored - conveys a vivid picture of this EC 1 power plant complex in the centre of Łódź, which supplied electricity as of 1907, served as the city's most important cogeneration plant until 2000 and has been converted into a cultural centre with EU support since 2008. A significant part of it is occupied by the Science & Technology Centre, its permanent exhibition being divided into the three thematic areas of "Energy Processing", "Knowledge and Civilisation Development" plus "Microworld - Macroworld" and featuring interactive experiments in fields such as acoustics, electromagnetism, optics and radioactivity. Right next door: an Art Nouveau machine hall used for events, a modern planetarium as well as two cultural centres, one designated to film making and one to comics and interactive storytelling.
Electricity arrives in Łódź in the late 1880s via small power plants in factories, private generators and a more extensive plant to power the electric tram network. On 26 May 1906, construction work begins on the second largest power plant in the then Kingdom of Poland, but due to repeated delays it is not connected to the grid until 18 September 1907, initially supplying mainly industry. Six years later, more than 190 kilometres of cables deliver electric power to 6,730 consumers and 163 electric street lights. After WW I, the city acquires shares in the power plant and embarks on a major expansion in 1929. Due to the density of small factories in the textile, food and chemical industries, there is a growing demand for processing steam, which leads to the concept of a municipal heating network in 1953: Next to the old EC I power plant, which is converted to generate district heating, the EC II cogeneration plant is built. By 1965, a total of 127 industrial plants are connected to a 23-kilometre-long steam network. In 2000, EC I ceases operation and three years later becomes the property of the city.
Today, after comprehensive refurbishment and restructuring, the approximately 40,000 square metre site is home to a variety of very different cultural facilities operated in partnership by the City of Łódź and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. The blueprints for this "Miasto Kultury" - City of Culture - date back to 2008, with construction work starting in 2010. Since then, attraction has followed attraction: in 2016, the National Centre for Film Culture starts operations, while in the same year Poland's state-of-the-art planetarium is opened, followed in 2018 by the Science & Technology Centre. Also exhibitions on comic art will soon be on display here. At the heart of the converted power plant is a machine hall richly decorated with Art Nouveau elements, thus providing a splendid setting for events and temporary exhibitions.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2-4 Hours|
|Duration of a guided tour:||45-60 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on site:||yes|
Tuesday - Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday - Sunday 11am - 7pm