Five years after Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat's design was selected as the winner, the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Poland is nearing completion, with a deadline set for Summer 2016. Presenting the narrative of the Second World War in a comprehensive way, the museum will focus specifically on the war’s impact on the everyday life of civilians and soldiers. The choice of Gdańsk as the site of the museum is also significant – not only was it where the war broke out, it was also where Solidarity emerged during the post-war division of the world.
Construction began in July 2012 with building the foundation (a “dry pit”) and the museum’s first level. Since October 2014, the general contractor – the consortium of Warbud S.A., Hochtief Polska S.A., and Hochtief Solutions AG – has been erecting the entire building of the Museum, consisting of six underground floors, seven stories above-ground, installations, finishing, and furnishings.
The above-ground section will be a tilted triangular prism about 40 metres high. It will house the library, lecture rooms, conference rooms, and more, offering a panoramic view of Gdańsk.
“The tilted tower is already over 20 metres high,” said Karol Kalinowski, the project manager. “A staircase, which leads from ground floor to the main hall of the Museum, 4.5 metres below the ground level and to the permanent exhibition placed 14 metres below the ground level, is nearly complete. In the underground section, sanitary, electrical, and telecommunication installations are being assembled and the administration building is being extended.”
The Museum’s permanent exhibition will cover 5,000 square meters, making it one of the largest among history museums worldwide. It will present the Second World War from the perspective of both big-powers and ordinary people, showing the experiences of Poland and other European countries in broader contexts. In addition to the permanent exhibition, 1,000 square meters will be used for temporary exhibitions.
ArchitectsStudio Architektoniczne Kwadrat
Project ManagerKarol Kalinowski
General ContractorWarbud S.A., Hochtief Polska S.A., and Hochtief Solutions AG