Museum of the Second World War, Gdansk Building Project News, Polish Design Image

Museum of the Second World War Gdansk

Architectural Contest in Poland – Polish Architecture Competition

1 Sep 2010

News re the winners, incl top prize of 80,000 euros:

Museum of the Second World War, Poland - Gdansk

The Museum of the Second World War Winners

‘Kwadrat’ : winning design, by Studio Architektoniczne, Poland

On 29, 30, 31 August 2010 the following members of the jury: Wiesław Bielawski – chairman, Grzegorz Buczek – juror scrutinizer, Wiesław Czabański – juror scrutinizer, Wojciech Duda, George Ferguson, Wiesław Gruszkowski, Daniel Libeskind, Jack Lohman, Andrzej Pągowski, Hans Stimmann held the session.

The Jury’s Verdict

Prize I EUR 80,000- entry no. 117- identification number 84171358- 92 pt – Studio Architektoniczne „Kwadrat”, Gdynia; Poland.

Museum of the Second World War Gdansk World War Two Museum Gdansk Second World War Museum Gdansk Polish architecture competition design by Studio Architektoniczne

Prize II EUR 50,000- entry no. 125- identification number 11092109- 79 pt –Piotr Płaskowicki & partnerzy Architekci; Warszawa; Poland.

Prize III EUR 30,000- entry no. 21- identification number 02122001- 75 pt – BETAPLAN S.A. ; Ateny; Greece.

Pecuniary distinctions:
Distinction I EUR 10,000- entry no. 11- identification number 10021002 – 70 pt-Ad Artis Emerla Jagiełłowicz Wojda Spółka Jawna; Kraków; Poland.

Distinction II EUR 10,000- entry no. 31- identification number 81100611- 68 pt„DIZARH” Ltd.; Varna, Bulgaria.

Distinction III EUR 10,000- entry no. 36- identification number 34179025- 65 pt Selim Velioglu; Bagdad; Turkey.

Distinction IV EUR 10,000- entry no. 124- identification number 74745847- 64 pt„Domino” Grupa Architektoniczna Wojciech Dunaj – Szczecin, Poland.

The Jury has also decided to award 8 honorary mentions to the entries with the following numbers:

– no. 1- identification number 58571012 – Max Rieder Ziviltechniker GMBH & Architekt Wagner ZT GMBH; Austria.
– no. 26- identification number 02041970 – Perumal Pedavoli PTY LTD; Australia.
– no. 32- identification number 30118600- Kimmel Eshkolot Architects Ltd.; Israel.
– no. 49- identification number 24072009- Hago-Architekci, Gdynia; Poland.
– no. 50- identification number 20090629- PPW Fort, sp. zo.o.; Gdańsk, Poland.
– no. 51- identification number 01747677- Partnerstwo Art. Rays; Bulgaria.
– no. 76- identification number 19390445 – Spółka Projetesanas bijos ARCHIS; Latvia.
– no. 78- identification number 10041004 – JKMM Architects; Finland.

Justification of the Jury’s opinion on the awarded entries:

Museum of the Second World War, Gdansk – Prizes

Prize I: Justification of the Jury on the entry no. 117 identification number 84171358

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.

The design embraces an immense building, which serves varied purposes. Dynamic, huge in scale, the building carries an air of a sculpture created by the visitors. It rises symbolically from the ground, led by light, bold, Simple, and naked, symbolically placed in the geometry of the shipyard.

It links the ground – its gloom, chill, and imprint of the Past, with the skies – hope, freshness, and Future. In this ingenious design, a rational vision of a public facility meets the wealth of history. It rings full sound, telling a story hard to chew for any generation, the story we must never forget. The attractive body of the building cumulates emotions, portrays the terror of war without depriving us of hope. It does not leave its interpreters buried in the gloom of the difficult topic.

The elegant pavilion, together with the obelisk nearby, squeezes into the ground and strikes the viewer with light, creating a symbol of catastrophe and the surviving hope. Phoenix-like, the building rises from Mother Earth, its ashes, towards the sky. The building will easily imprint itself on the visitors minds, conveying and being an unforgettable experience, both due to its interior and exterior. It will become a major feature on the plan of Gdańsk, perfectly composed in space.

The well-organised and modern building combines an immense range of functions. It offers huge space for permanent exhibitions, while remaining open for any displays in the future. The visitors to and the residents of the Tri-City will love it as an attraction. The designed tower will play a major role in gaining an image of the entire city, offering a fresh perspective view of Gdańsk, which will enhance the Museum’s valuable function of a viewing point.

As a public space, the Museum Has the potential of a meeting place for families, tourists, and acquaintances, of taking in dozens of cars. It incorporates an ingenious concept with functionality.

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.

Prize II: Justification of the Jury on the entry no. 125 identification number 11092109

In this entry, the thoughtful historic narration representing ‘cities and war, the present and the future’ has been successfully conveyed in a symbolic, and yet functional form. The intriguing architectural proposal welcomes its visitors, with its clear rationale and message, representing a strong but somehow literal link between the old and developing Gdańsk of the 21 century.

This entry has a very clear and well organized strategy, based on a story about destruction and revival. These are represented by two very distinct elements, separated by the route through the site, which respects the pre-war plan and in particular the diagonal axis of Grosse Gasse.

The philosophy behind the plan and design is based on the post-modern representation of the destruction and suffering of European cities and in particular of Gdańsk because of its significant position both at the start and end of the war.

Prize III: Justification of the Jury on the entry no. identification number 02122001

The Jury agreed that the proposed solution is both attractive and sophisticated, and welcomed its overall tone. It was felt that the proposed buildings smartly bring together the experience of war with allusions to the present and the future as expressed by the series of exhibition containers and the multi-functional building that provides a binding back up to the complex. The play of dark and light spaces was considered positive.

The Jury welcomed the allusion to the former street scape and felt the Museum would work well in the context of the City without dominating it. The notion of recreating the site’s historic memory has a specific resonance here and the opening of specific vistas was praised. But the Jurors felt this was not sufficient enough to represent the programme of the Second World War Museum and its importance.

Museum of the Second World War, Gdansk – Distinctions

Distinction I entry no. 11, identification number 10021002

In the view of the Competition Jury the design has expressed successfully the mood the authors speak of in its form. The emotional charge enclosed in the massive and brutal body, which evokes associations with a warship or bunker, strikes terror and sadness. From its definition, the structure is not ‘nice’ (as no picture of the war would be), but in its air of horror it can fascinate, hence be dangerous.

The interiors proposed express the ideas they adopted as their assumptions and constitute an interesting proposal of shaping public space in a facility of this kind. The whole idea of the building would make the site highly troublesome…

Distinction II entry no. 31, identification number 81100611

The design, though highly expressive in form , is a successful attempt of rising to the status of an icon. The emotional charge contained in the bulk challenges the neighbourhood and the people around it. It actually cajoles them to take up the challenge and successfully invites them inside. It is attractive, interesting, and at the same time solemn.

Unfortunately, its forms evoke far too obvious associations with the form of the cross and hammer, which may trigger doubts as to the essence of the message. The associations would probably dominate any discussion about it, both in the construction and operation phases. The Jury is not certain whether the idea the authors have formulated, of protecting the ‘thread of life’ against occupation, war, and death is reflected sufficiently in the architecture.

Distinction III entry no. 36, identification number 34179025

This entry is one of the most striking and disciplined proposals. It refers to the extreme experience of the Second World War and of war in general, such as the trenches, grave, or death. The viewer cannot remain indifferent. More, the architecture demands it from the visitor to face that experience, in other words to step to the ‘grave’. The symbolism used by the author makes the building a kind of a memorial monument.

This is a place of contemplation, consideration, and ponderings rather than a functional, smoothly operating museum. Nonetheless, the sheer form of the building, especially when viewed at night, is very interesting. The entry rationale is very clear and in general employs correct functional and spatial solutions. However, in our opinion the building form adopted by the author could not successfully function as the Museum of the Second World War.

Distinction IV entry no.124, identification number 74745847

The authors took an interesting attempt at putting the idea of depicting the destruction in physical and spiritual spheres by their use of concrete: strong, powerful, and resistant in its very nature, almost indestructible, only to subject it to destructive processes. In its form relating to the bunker shape too obviously, the building engages the visitors in dialogue. However, the Jury is not certain, whether the proposed form, especially used for the interior, will pass the test of time.

Museum of the Second World War, Gdansk – Honorary mentions

Entry no. 1, identification number 58571012:
This unique entry, caught the eye of the jury with its very sculptural proposal for shaping of a public place, incorporating the exhibition spaces in two large cuboid austere ‘bunker’ forms.

Entry no. 26, identification number 02041970:
This somehow whimsical entry stood out for its richness and narrative of presentation, bringing a very personal approach to the challenge of representing the anguish of war.

Entry no. 32, identification number 30118600:
This entry, with its abstract war machine appearance is a strong representation of the oppression of war and its consequences to the cities and their dwellers.

Entry no. 49, identification number 24072009:
The use of the broken bridge imagery represents both the literal and the metaphorical meaning of war and is used as an iconic device to link the diverse architectural elements of this entry.

Entry no. 50, identification number 20090629:
This scheme – one of the greenest of all entries, merges building with landscape in the interesting way, in an attempt to create a new public place for Gdansk and provide a calming post war metaphor.

Entry no. 51, identification number 01747677:
This entry brought together the variety of elements into an intriguing zoomorphic form, a dragon or caterpillar – like structure, marching across the Museum’s site.

Entry no. 76, identification number 19390445:
In his entry the ‘bomb crater’ represents the horror of war, while also using the device of ray of light to represent optimism for the future.

Entry no. 78, identification number 10041004:
This entry aims to create a symbolic and nostalgic memory park on the roof of a simple but expressive form, rising over the site without dominating the city.

Museum of the Second World War Gdansk winning design images / information received 010910


The Museum of the Second World War

Organiser of the Competition

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk with its main offices at: ul. Dluga 81/83.

Subject Matter of the Competition

This Competition concerns the development of the architectural conceptual design of the building to house the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, intended to become a new identity landmark of the City of Gdansk, and the conceptual site landscape design commensurate with the nature, status, and location of the site.

Museum of the Second World War
image from organiser

The purpose of this Competition is to arrive at the architectural concept of the building to house the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, appended with the site landscape design, that will be best in terms of its city-planning, architectural, functional, aesthetic, and operational aspects, and recognise the site’s nature, status, and location, and to obtain recommendations from the Competition Jury with respect to awarding the public contract to the winner of the Competition.
Formula of the Competition

An architectural contest of the open, international, one-stage type.
Language of the Competition

The Competition shall be held in the Polish language.
The Requests to Participate in the Competition and the declarations from the Competition Participants shall be submitted in the Polish language.
The Competition Entries shall be produced in the Polish language, though their submission in the English language shall be permissible.
The Regulations of the Architectural Competition together with all the appendices are available in English.

26 Mar 2010 : Submission of the Requests to Participate in the Competition
29 Mar 2010 : Opening of the Requests to Participate in the Competition
6 Apr 2010 : Notification of Qualification for Participation in the Competition and
Invitation to Submit the Entries
13 Aug 2010 : Submission of the Competition Entries
1 Sep 2010 : Resolution of the Competition, publication of the Competition results


Total value of awards: 200,000 EUR
1st prize: 80,000 EUR

The Competition Participant whose Entry is awarded the first prize by the Competition Jury shall further be awarded with the invitation to participate in the public contract award proceedings to be held under the single-source procurement procedure and concern detailed elaboration of the Competition Entry, consisting in the development of the design documentation (i.e. the building design appended with the site landscape design and the comprehensive construction design) for the Museum of the Second World War.

The Awarding Entity shall award the prize money to maximum three Competition Entries; it can also award pecuniary distinctions.

Composition of the Competition Jury

Wieslaw Bielawski – chairman, Grzegorz Buczek – juror-scrutinizer; Wieslaw Czabanski – juror-scrutinizer; Wojciech Duda; George Ferguson; Tomasz Konior; Daniel Libeskind; Jack Lohman; Andrzej Pagowski; Hans Stimmann; Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda.

Detailed information concerning the competition can be found in the Regulations of the Architectural Competition. The Competition Regulations together with all the appendices can be found on the website:

Museum of the Second World War Gdansk image / information received 230210

Location: Gdansk, Poland, eastern Europe

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Comments / photos for the Museum of the Second World War Polish Architecture Competition winners page welcome