More images and architect’s description after the break.
The design conditions for the new Museum of Polish History in Warsaw has determinded by existing urban structures both historic 18th century baroque layout with Ujazdow Castle and expressway of 70s. To select location for new museum was most critical design decision. It was the result of seeking the point of balance between old and new, that the new was as supplement and complement of the historic baroque park layout .
Two balancing elements was created in the panorama of the dramatic slope – the existing castle and new museum. The buildings stand opposite each other in distance, guarded entrance to west side city of Warsaw. Moreover, the selected location using the natural conditions will strengthen the fragile parts of the slope without additional structures, and technological treatments – except those related directly to the realization of the building.
Access and its symbolism
The basic element and the functional and spatial location difficulty of the museum is the entrance and its link with the existing urban structures of the city, especially the link with the main and most prestigious Warsaw street called Royal Road. It was therefore decided that the entrance to the museum should be located directly on it. Access was designed as a succession of monumental , interactive, open-work, granite walls, which will create a multimedia performance information. Entrance gate will be connected with the Museum by the path called Alley of Kings.
Form and function
The museum building consists of two parts; administrative and museum itself. Both connected by glass bridge. The form of the building is clear and simple. It has covered by large concrete roof with planted layer on it. The roof gently continuous surrounding landscape into high level to become an extreme view-point for Vistula River valley. The relatively large area of the reinforced concrete roof with its great storage mass should ensure a pleasant indoor climate.
In summer the museum will be naturally cooled by the evaporation of rainwater in the vegetation layer. Visually the roof has been supported by 12 meter high wood columns as echos of Polish traditional materials. The wooden columns wrapped building to create together with inner glass façade the gallery, similar to peristyle of Greek temple. The inside museum consists of two main levels. The first one is occupied by entrance lobby with its futuristic information desk and temporary exhibitions hall, and the second lower floor has appropriated for permanent exhibitions.
Inner space of museum is defined by large scale granite covered Wall of Names. The Wall of Names is an interactive variable and dynamic exhibition structure presents photo-portraits of most distinctive and ordinary Poles from Polish history. It is kind of architectural metaphor which divides building like theater curtain and divides one thousand years the history .