Polish architectural firm Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat won the first place in the international competition to design the World War II Museum in Gdansk, Poland.
To fit in the historic part of the city, and creating a form that may become its icon at the same time, we had to make a compromise between its forma and monumentality, being careful with its impudence and aggressiveness. We wanted the architecture to be a delicate suggestion rather than strong quotation for the World War II tragedy. That is how the idea of dynamic, expressive form had been brought to live, tearing apart the symbolic and dramatic shell covering the world, created by the war. The design of the form is to be undefined by one literally meaning. It may be discovered in many ways by each and every individual viewer.
Following the design process , we have agreed to leave most of the site as an open public space, so we moved some part of an exhibition underground. Entering the subterranean levels is to be a mood setting process. Starting from being unconcern and full of everyday thoughts, to be hanged in the balance and clear minded, to finally fell the horror, frightens and even pain by a strong relation with the exhibition. The underground part of the museum is a path through hell of war, a time travel experience. The “back to reality” begins with the ground level and the public space surrounding the museum, the place to think, to gather the experience from the underground. But that’s not the end, the past is a creator of the future, so as the viewer climbs the tower to the very top, he sees hope and freedom, he sees an old and young town of Gdansk. He sees it having thoughts of the past he had just experienced.