Gdańsk War Museum
Entering the Museum of The World War II competition in Gdańsk we were fully aware of the problems that may occur during the design process as well as its interaction with the environment and very complicated functionality. To fit in the historic part of the city, and creating a form that may become its icon at the same time, we had to make a compromise between its forma and monumentality, being careful with its impudence and aggressiveness. We wanted the architecture to be a delicate suggestion rather than strong quotation for the World War II tragedy. That is how the idea of dynamic, expressive form had been brought to live, tearing apart the symbolic and dramatic shell covering the world, created by the war. The design of the form is to be undefined by one literally meaning. It may be discovered in many ways by each and every individual viewer.

Following the design process , we have agreed to leave most of the site as an open public space, so we moved some part of an exhibition underground. Entering the subterranean levels is to be a mood setting process. Starting from being unconcern and full of everyday thoughts, to be hanged in the balance and clear minded, to finally fell the horror, frightens and even pain by a strong relation with the exhibition. The underground part of the museum is a path through hell of war, a time travel experience. The "back to reality" begins with the ground level and the public space surrounding the museum, the place to think, to gather the experience from the underground. But that's not the end, the past is a creator of the future, so as the viewer climbs the tower to the very top, he sees hope and freedom, he sees an old and young town of Gdansk. He sees it having thoughts of the past he had just experienced.   

This from the Jury - "The Jury is of the opinion that the design selected in the Architectural Competition has every chance of becoming one of the most important features of the Gdańsk City Centre from the very beginning.  In our belief it meets all conditions of  joining in the sophisticated symbols in the future alongside the Armoury, St Mary’s Church, or the Crane."

"The huge building tactfully merges in the neighbourhood sharing the chance of becoming an icon of Gdańsk with the major historic elements around.  The minimalist means of architectural expression proposed by the authors gracefully blend the modern idea of the building with the historic background.  In its Design, the innovative, huge-scale project makes use of the unique air of the city and transforms it in a modern manner.  The colour and texture proposed in the design smoothly blend with the colours of Gdańsk giving the museum the power to pass the test of the 21.c century."

"This exceptionally designed Museum of the Second World War will become a major attraction, telling the story of paramount importance for the humanity. It will grow to become a timeless symbol inscribed in the hearts of the people of Gdańsk, Poland, and Europe."


5 photos and 8 drawings