Polish Toledo

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Polish Subterranean Winner

The Dialogue Centre Upheavals is part of the National Museum in Szczecin and this unique subterranean building won the title "World Building of the Year 2016" at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. It was designed by Polish architect Robert Konieczny, principal at KWK studio.

While the vast exhibit area is buried underground, its roof serves as a huge public space much like a village square. 

Roof of the Museum

Inside the Subterranean Museum
The structure is built entirely of pre-cast concrete and its radical sunken form was an intentional response to the nearby Philharmonic Hall, an already-iconic building designed by Barozzi Veiga, that just last year won the Mies van der Rohe Award – the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

The museum addresses a fifty-year time span that is the most tumultuous period of Poland's history. The starting point is the beginning of World War II when Poland lost its independence to the invading German Army. The exhibit continues through concentration camps, Stalinism, protests in the shipyards and concludes with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the breakup of the former Soviet Union.

This is a piece of topography as well as a museum... a design which addresses the past in an optimistic, poetic and imaginative way.

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