WEATHERS / Sean Lally . OOS-ag

Museum of WWII . Gdansk

WEATHERS / Sean Lally

The proposal for the Polish city’s WWII museum addresses the issues of the site as it pertains to local adjacencies (vehicular and pedestrian access, programmatic access, and views) as well as broader urban and climatic context that defines it, and which we intend to manipulated at a local level.

Gdansk’s climatic context plays a decisive role in deter­mining the activities and social interactions of its program; and since these conditions are no longer believed to be out of the reach of the architect’s design control, then these activities and social relationships built with and around the museum are open for redesign as well.
The project design is organized around two straightforward prin­ciples. The first is to create a central exhibition core, a “jewel box” that contains the permanent and temporary exhibition space, continu­ously accessible from all sides along a “loop lobby” that encircles it: the second is the location of the public programs associated with the museum’s urban context--conference, restaurant, hotel, library, and education facilites as well as an urban park--on the upper level roof­top, initiating a “new city floor” with views to the surrounding city, accessible year-round. Making these outdoor public spaces attrac­tive to visitors regardless of season requires the design of a “climatic wash’ that can produce artificial micro-climates and extend seasonal activities throughout the year. This wash is made possible by harness­ing the energy dumps that inevitably occur in a building of this scale (36,000 m²), which requires 900 m² of mechanical space and 11,000 m² of parking garage, both of which vent large amounts of heat and moisture, as well as the combined body heat of several thousand visi­tors a day. This climatically elastic and unique ‘new city floor’ is the resource for the museum and the city of Gdansk as a whole.

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