museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
the ‘museum of the history of polish jews’, designed by finnish firm lahdelma & mahlamäki architects in collaboration with local practice kurylowicz & assoc first began as a competition entry in 2005, and as of november 2014 is finally open to the public. the competition was won from amidst a panel of international participants that included studio daniel libeskind, kengo kuma, zvi hecker architects, peter eisenman, and david chipperfield.

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
the bulding’s glass façade
image © salminen (also main image)

 

 

the museum, titled ‘yum suf’ (‘sea of reeds’) is dedicated to the research and exhibition of the jewish heritage, education, and culture through a series of multi-functional programmatic elements in response to an increased public interest. the primary exhibition room is located under the main hall, with 5,000 square meters of open space loosely organized into different ambiances that aim to present the many facets that make up polish jewish culture and history. 

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
facade of silk-printed glass louvers
image © salminen

 

 

the adjacent plaza that houses the ghetto uprising memorial became a fundamental starting point for the overall footprint of the concrete and steel structure, mirroring the proportions that led to a rectangular plan. the facade is a combination of vertical silk-printed glass louvers, expanses of curtain walls allowing views and sunlight into the building, and copper panels over their consequent seams. the most striking feature is the interior hall for which the project was titled. 

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
(left) detail of the vertical glass louvers
(right) curtain wall detail
images © salminen

 

 

an enormous organic tunnel-like space, ‘pure and silent’, welcomes visitors to the museum and cuts through the orthogonal structure with its lightly textured concrete walls. soft gradient shadows and its constantly transforming sinuous nature finds roots in the old testament and at times abstractly references nature’s phenomena. as of november 2014, the core exhibition of the museum is open to the public.

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
interior hall connection with facade
image © salminen

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
image © salminen

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
entrance to exhibition space
image © salminen

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
undulating organic concrete walls of the main hall
image © salminen

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
detail of the main hall
image © markus wikar

museum of the history of polish jews by lahdelma & mahlamäki architects
image © markus wikar

 

 

 

project info:

 

project name: the museum of the history of polish jews
architects (firm): architects lahdelma & mahlamäki (finland) with local firm kuryłowicz & associates in warsaw
principal architects: finland/rainer mahlamäki with team riitta id ( – design phase), maritta kukkonen, miguel silva, jukka savolainen, markus wikar, mirja sillanpää -poland/stefan kuryłowicz (* passed), ewa kuryłowicz, paweł grodzicki (-design phase), marcin ferenc, tomasz kopec, michał gratkowski
structural engineering: arbo projekt, poland
hvac engineering: pol-con consulting, poland
contractor: polimex – mostostal sa, poland
character of space: museum consisting of exhibition spaces, auditorium and offices
client: city of warsaw and ministry of culture, poland
tenant: the museum of the history of polish jews
total floor area: 18,300 sqm
building area: 4,400 sqm
site area: 12,442 sqm
principal materials: silk printed glass, copper, concrete
principal structure: concrete, steel
location: warsaw, park area surrounded be streets anielewicza, zamenthofa, lewartowskiego and karmelicka (belonged to the former jewish district)
cost: 160 million pln (~39 million €, 48 million usd)

Save