The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that Thomas Phifer and Partners will be designing their new gallery space, after winning a competition against eleven other selected practices. The new museum, the largest cultural project in recent Polish history, will also house the TR Warsawa Theatre. The proposal consists of two separate buildings housing the theater and museum, joined by a common forum that will serve both as entrance and public multi-use space.
Firm principal, Thomas Phifer, said: “This is a unique moment in the history and culture of Warsaw, where a creative trajectory is intersecting with positive political and economic forces. This new home for contemporary artistic expression, the new cultural center of gravity for Warsaw, must embody this progressive essence. It’s about people, open, welcoming, accessible. It must be optimistic, transparent and populist in spirit.”
Transparent and open it will certainly be—the theater will include a stage that opens onto the Plac Defilad, allowing passers-by to view performances. Rehearsal rooms and other backstage areas of the theater will be walled in glass to show pedestrians the goings-on of the building. The museum will also make use of glass walls to display artwork to the outside world.
The total cost for the building has been estimated at $126 million ($86 million for the museum and $40 million for the theater). Phifer and Partners also intends to submit a design plan for the Plac Defilad and the abutting park, in order to better connect the two to the building design.