Scale: 1:500, 49 square modules, with sides of half a metre each. The mock-up of the town and commune centres of the Silesian Metropolis was built by 43 students from the Silesian University of Technology. The project was completed in partnership with the Metropolis.

The project set out to answer the following questions: What is a metropolis? What does it look like? How can it be represented? The response was provided by a group of 43 third-year architecture students, who created a mock-up of the town and commune centres that make up the Silesian Metropolis as part of a course in "Urban Structure". The project was carried out in cooperation with the Metropolis.

The mock-up was built to a scale of 1:500 and consists of 49 modules that represent the urban layout of 41 town and commune centres in the Metropolis. The number of elements is slightly greater than that of communes because, due to their complexity, some towns had to be represented in several fields. The mock-up is 5 m long and 2.5 m wide. It comes with additional display boards that highlight specific data analysed by students, such as the distribution of buildings in the Metropolis or its demographic structure.

The project is the brainchild of Dr inż. arch. Tomasz Bradecki, who taught the class together with Dr hab. inż. arch. Krzysztof Kafk. The mock-up is the result of an experimental approach and rests on the PBL (project-based learning) formula.

"The PBL formula involves teaching through projects, which are completed on the basis of data about a given area, including its real-world features", explains Dr inż. arch. Tomasz Bradecki from the Silesian University of Technology.

"An urban structure, with all its elements, can be represented in the form of real or digital models. These can be 3D virtual models or synthetic real-world models such as mock-ups. The primary objective of the project was to design a uniform digital model and a publication of basic data on the Silesian Metropolis. A side goal was to create a mock-up based on the original 3D model", he adds.