Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews / Lahdelma & Mahlamäki

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki
© Pawel Paniczko

An international architectural competition for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews was organised in spring 2005. The first discussions regarding the plan to build such a museum had taken place ten years earlier. During those years it had become clear that there is a need for a dedicated museum as public interest towards Jewish history and culture had increased.

The selection of the participants of the architectural competition was based on expressions of interest. The finalists included 11 studios, including Studio Daniel Libeskind, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Zvi Hecker Architects, Peter Eisenman and David Chipperfield.

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki
© Pawel Paniczko

The proposal “Yum Suf”, “Sea of Reeds”, by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects was declared winner in summer 2005. The design process of the building continued until July 2008 when final design documents were released. The construction commenced in July 2009. The building is scheduled to be completed by May of 2013.

The museum functions as a multifunctional centre for the research and exhibition of Jewish heritage, education and culture.

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki

The main permanent exhibition takes place under the main hall in a large exhibition space of 5000 m2. Special built-in milieus will present the different aspects of the history of the Polish Jews. The main task of the exhibition is to present different phases and forms of Jewish culture starting from medieval times to present day – the holocaust is only one of the main themes of the exhibition.

Warsaw has been one of the most important cities for Jews; before the Second World War there were half a million Jewish inhabitants in the city.

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki
© Wikar

The site of the new museum is located in the Willy Brandt Park, one kilometre from the old city centre of Warsaw, which was rebuilt after the war. The history of the park is tragic as it was part of the Jewish ghetto during the war.

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki

Adjacent to the new museum is the memorial of the uprising in the Jewish ghetto. The memorial has been an important element in the architecture of the museum. The proportions of the plaza in front of the memorial and the museum have been carefully considered. The shape of the museum building is rectangular. The facades will be covered with glass and copper panels.

Museum of the history of polish jews / lahdelma & mahlamäki
© Pawel Paniczko

The name of the competition proposal symbolically refers to the architecture of the main hall. The inspiration for the space has been the legends of the Old Testament, although at the same time forms of the hall refer to the universal and abstract phenomena of nature. The main hall is the most important element in the architecture of the building; a pure and silent space introducing the museum to the visitors.

The Core Exhibition was opened to the 29th of October, 2014.

Project Details:

Location: Warsaw, Poland
Type: Cultural Public
Architects: Lahdelma & Mahlamäki
Architect In Charge: Riitta Id, Maritta Kukkonen
Collaborators: Jukka Savolainen, Mirja Sillanpää, Miguel Freitas Silva
Markus Wikar
Architectural Collaborators In Poland: Kuryłowicz & Associates, Stefan Kuryłowicz, 
Ewa Kuryłowicz, Paweł Grodzicki, Marcin Ferenc, Tomasz Kopeć, Michal Gratkowski
Area: 18300.0 sqm
Photos: Photoroom.pl – Pawel Paniczko – Juha Salminen – Markus Wikar

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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