In the suburb of Strzegomska in Wroclawthere is an interesting reuse of a German Hochbunker – (literally high bunker). Several such bunkers were built between 1942 and 1943 to protect the civilian residents of the (then) Breslau. The massive cylindrical structure has six stories and is 25 metres high. Known in the war as Festunglazaret II the structure stood empty for many years. Then in the 21st century the building was transformed into the Wroclaw Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzeum Współczesne Wrocław or MWW).
Opened in September 2011 the gallery has a large steam locomotive outside mounted vertically as if emerging from an underground lair (Wroclaw used to be a major centre for the manufacture of steam engines). Our taxi driver from the airport even told us it was a railway museum. The truth was disappointing to some of us and the exhibits are distinctly offbeat and surreal (think Tate bricks or Tracey Emin). However the building itself was great to explore and the top level offered a pleasant cafe in which to reflect on its current purpose. Better to re-use than demolish seemed to be most people’s verdict.