Museum of Contemporary Art in Wroclaw, Poland
International Competition 3. Price, 2008
Size GFA 25.836 qm
Client City of Wroclaw, Poland
Architect: Pysall Ruge Architekten
With the revitalisation of the historic Wroclaw, the city is restoring its lost structure of dense traditional city blocks. The unique occupation of a block by a museum of contemporary art demands a new, well-considered urban design solution.
To take the “void” as a built volume, and the vanished building as the open space around it, is our response. Rich and enigmatic spatial qualities for the museum functions are created, as well as exterior spaces which don’t disregard the historical context.
The new volume, split horizontally into three offset levels, makes architectural reference to the St. Bernard Church, used today for the faculty of architecture.
The irregular stacking of the levels positions the services core according to the function, either to one side or in the middle. As well, the stacking creates sheltered entrance zones and terraces for open-air exhibitions.
The monochrome sheathing of the building’s sculptural form is characterised by the rough, broken edges of semitransparent, textured white cast-glass panels. The rotation and offsetting of the floor-to-ceiling glass façade elements respond to the differing lighting requirements of the different floor areas.
At night the fascinating play of reflections from the façade will be augmented by the gleaming, illuminated soffits of the undersides of the overhanging floors, highlighting the museum and lighting the open spaces at the ground level.