Warsaw’s Katyń Museum in Final of Mies van der Rohe Award 2017
small, Warsaw’s Katyń Museum in Final of Mies van der Rohe Award 2017, Katyn Museum in Warsaw, interiors, photo: Krystian Maj / Forum, muzeum-kaytnskie-fot-krystian-maj-forum.jpg
The Katyń Museum in Warsaw has been named one of just five finalists in the biannual Mies van der Rohe Awards.
mies van der rohe award
The other finalists are Kannikegården Square in Ribe, Denmark, Ely Court residential building in London, the renovation of the deFlat Kleiburg apartment building in Amsterdam and the French Rivesaltes Memorial Museum.
The Katyń Museum, a branch of the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw, moved to its new headquarters in the Warsaw Citadel in 2015. Its new space was designed by BBGK Architects: Jan Belina-Brzozowski & Konrad Grabowiecki and Jerzy Kalina & Krzysztof Lang, along with their team.
The official Mies van der Rohe Awards website describes the building:
Katyn Museum lies the southern part of the fort - the Warsaw Citadel consisting of three historical buildings. The whole foundation is a park with symbolic Katyn Forest in the centre of it. The entrance is located at Nowomiejska Gate, the extension of the Old Town route. The museum exhibition has been designed on two levels of Kaponiere - old artillery. The third building is the arcade gunrest building, which consists of five glassed arcades which locate plaques with the names of the murdered officers.
15 plaques commemorating the 21 768 victims located in the historic gunrest raises questions about the meaning of the concepts of evil, good, forgiveness. At this point, we have consciously given the architecture powerful expression. The gap between high 12 meters walls slitting the Citadel shaft leads us in two directions - down to the gunrest arcades where the plaques with the names of the victims are; and up, opening the perspective of the sky. On the axis of the stairs among the trees stands an oak cross - the epilogue of our narrative about Katyn.
Stained concrete also becomes a mean of architectural expression, wherever exhibition narrative demands it; personal belongings, such as letters, elements of ammunition of the victims were used to leave prints on the concrete. The history of Katyn in its cruelty and evil immensity is much too difficult to comprehend.
Since 2001, the Mies van der Rohe Award is the official architecture prize of the European Union and was established by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation.
In 2015, the prize went to the Szczecin Philharmonic. The results of this year’s edition will be announced in mid-May 2017.
Sources: miesarch.com, press materials, edited by NR, 16 Feb 2017