Piotr Gerber

Piotr Gerber has dedicated his professional life to the protection of post-industrial heritage. In both Poland and abroad, he has played an influential role in raising public awareness and understanding of the importance of technical and technological development.

Piotr Gerber PhD, Wrocław, POLAND

In 2007, Piotr Gerber founded the Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Heritage, which researches the industrial history of Silesia, protects tangible industrial heritage, and educates on industrial development through heritage. Of Gerber’s most remarkable achievements is his purchase of seven industrial buildings in Silesia, Europe’s largest coal-mining region. Following purchase, the buildings underwent extensive conservation and were transformed into museums, thus securing their future and enriching the cultural lives of the surrounding communities at the same time. Gerber finances the purchase, conservation, and maintenance of these historic buildings largely on his own.

Piotr Gerber places particular emphasis on authenticity – preserving the original architectural fabric and using original machines to present the historical technological process. All of the facilities he has saved contain still functioning machines that are maintained by the former employees of these industrial plants. Gerber also ensures that these buildings continue to play an important role in local communities. For example, in 2022, the project “Technical Museums Support Ukraine” created a safe space in post-industrial buildings for Ukrainian refugees, who were displaced as a result of the war.

Piotr Gerber PhD, Wrocław, POLAND

Gerber has also had a significant impact on improving legislation around industrial heritage and is the co-author of conservation guidelines for post-industrial heritage assets that are implemented by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland. He also commits to transmitting his knowledge to the next generation by teaching at university level, and together with his team, organising specialist conferences and implementing educational programmes for children and young people in museums.

In 2020, Gerber, together with his Team, nominated the Szombierki Power Plant in Bytom to the 7 Most Endangered programme. This large Modernist building was included on the list of 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe for 2020, and resulted in an investor being found, who plans to adapt the building to new uses.


The span of Piotr Gerber’s work is truly amazing. His unrivalled commitment to industrial heritage has helped to reveal its value to a wider public and had a lasting impact on policy surrounding this heritage. The scope of his work is very impressive, with many museums created over the course of his career,” the Awards’ Jury said.

Piotr Gerber has demonstrated great dedication to preserving the authenticity of industrial heritage sites, and has helped to connect them to the history of the local communities. This is exemplified, for instance, by the employment of former factory workers. His efforts include cross-border cooperation with experts and his European impact is important, in that he highlights the significance of this heritage beyond Poland,” the Jury noted.

Contact: Piotr Gerber, Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Heritage | biuro@muzeatechniki.pl | www.muzeatechniki.pl