Conceived of as an integral piece in redeveloping the center of Warsaw and a vital element in elevating the city as a major culture hub within Europe, the competition for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland was to do for Warsaw what the Guggenheim Museum did for Bilbao.
Situated in the heart of Warsaw on the historic city square Plac Defilad, the museum was part of a master plan to re-densify the open space left behind by the installation of the Palace of Culture and Science as established by the Soviets in Post War Poland. The plan, which called for surrounding the Palace with a series of cultural, civic, and commercial buildings was integrated by the museum in a symbolic gesture of moving the city and the country away from war time dereliction and into a 21st century globalizing commmunity.
Governed heavily by strict volume and programmatic guidelines, our scheme was a mixture of optimizing commercial opportunity and a critique of competition program. In response to the city’s desire to densify, we re-created the historic streetscape and looked to each of the blocks to function as all the elements of a lively city would. The buildings were then connected by an elevated and artificial streetscape and encased by a glass vitrene for enhanced viewing opportunity from beyond. The museum was then bookended by a public park whose layout and texture mimicked fuedal era Polish landscape on one side, and the other was a plaza whose textures and topography were representative of a 21st century digital fabric extended over a public space.
Design Team: Peter Tolkin Architecture
Position Held: Associate Designer
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Warsaw Poland