Mateo Arquitectura

Museum of the History of Polish Jews . Warsaw

Mateo Arquitectura

The monument to the Ghetto Uprising, which stands in a large void without physical significance, surrounded by anonymous, ghostly buildings, interested us as a presence colonising the site. It stands on a big podium, establishing a new topographical layer and introducing a mark, a new scale of new facts

We were also interested in the limits, the streets, but not for their form; instead we thought of them as channels, as lines of connexion, pipes for fluids.
Anielewicza St. connects directly to the city and is the natural gateway to the site. We placed the emerging part of the building there, following the geometry of the monument. The public space of the entrance will be set between them. From the distance, the building appears on the axis of the street and marks the line that ends at the cemetery. The required car park could be located underground, following the street, with easy links to the main building.
Lewartowskiego St. is a more domestic connection. We placed some important but not explicit facilities here: bus, park (under new tree plantations) and an underground service access.
A part of the programme-the auditorium and temporary exhibitions area, flexible contemporary spaces with no impact on the outside-has been placed underground in between these two streets.
The monument is activated in its boundaries by all these interventions and retains its role as a central element in the place.
We proposed to keep the centre of the garden empty, putting in plants at the boundaries and adding some small things in order to introduce a certain domesticity into the area.
But the architectural role of the monument is not restricted to the layout of the park, as it also affects the shape of the main building, which is divided into two parts. The larger of these is a box, where the permanent collection is held, while the other is a big floating canopy that protects a vast space at the entrance to the building and integrates the monolith into the new scale of the place.

Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw
Restricted Competition, 2005 (Finalist)

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