Muzeum Lotnictwa

Krakow, Poland

Museum for aviation and aviation exhibition park, Krakow, Poland

Competition 1st prize 2005, Completion 2010
Size: Museum’s building 4.504 sqm, Aviation park 6,14 ha
Client: Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego
Architect: Pysall Ruge Architekten mit Bartlomiej Kisielewski
Photos: Jens Willebrand

The idea of flying, the spirit of the place, the structure of the historic airfield: the new building for the Museum of Aviation takes up these references intellectually and synthesists them into an expressive and emblematic structure. The old hangars set the modular scale for the footprint (60 x 60 m) and the height (12 m) for the new building.

Developed from this modular scale, cut out and folded as if made like a paper airplane, a large structure has arisen: triangular wings made of concrete and yet as light as a wind-vane or propeller. The size and orientation of the wings was developed from three different functions. 4500 m2 of usable area on three floors is for immediate disposition. Intertwining spaces provide good orientation for the visitor.

Entering the building one has the choice to go into the education wing, with a voluminous 3D cinema, or directly into the exhibition area with the planes. The building’s wings are generously glazed, opening in all directions.

The exhibition thus links visually with the landscape around it and offers a view of the apron and the planes on display outdoors. The airplanes in the north wing do not seem enclosed, but rather placed in shelter, ready to roll out onto the runway at any time.

The first floor is occupied by a conference room seating 150 people, a library, a multimedia section and a restaurant with bar overlooking the exhibition. Arup International in Cracow planned the mechanical and electrical services, as well the structural services for the project.