MUSEUM OF LUBOMIRSKI PRINCES

project 2018 |competition for THE MUSEUM OF LUBOMIRSKI PRINCES | location Wroclaw | team KATARZYNA IWAŃCZUK, MIKOŁAJ IWAŃCZUK, ANNA OSTROWSKA

The shape and structure of the designed museum is an attempt to fill the area of the square constituting so far a visual foreground for important historical buildings of Wroclaw while maintaining the appropriate proportions between built-up space and undeveloped, transparent and opaque. The implementation of this postulate is splitting of the proposed museum building into smaller parts, and the means used to achieve this goal are vertical slits of the building mass - "well-holes". In a narrow space of surrounding streets, the "well-holes" provide the opportunity to maintain important view relations as they were with the empty square, only that in condensed, reduced form, as far as the program and planning guidelines allow.

The location of the slots, permeating the cubic volume of the building along its entire height and length, is dictated by the immediate surroundings of the museum, the uniqueness of neighboring buildings and the frontage typology of the urban environment. The most important are the visual relations between Uniwersytecka street and the Ossolineum edifice, and between the church of the Name of Jesus and the Ossolineum building - the two most important buildings at Uniwersytecki square. Scaled up, almost 18 meters high, entrance to the Museum visually completes the pedestrian route stretching from the University of Wroclaw building to the University Square. The cut, in the form of the aforementioned "well-hole", is the main link between the Museum and the city, constituting a natural extension of the street on one side and enabling the visual presence of the Ossolineum building on the other.

Thanks to the large dimensions, the entrance to the building is visible from a long distance, showing the internal structure of the Museum, its individual layers, routes of communication in the form of bridges over the emptiness and the rhythm of openings in the flanking walls. In this formal gesture materialises the idea of the public character of the institution that the building is about to host. Despite the quite introverted mission of the future Museum, organized largely around conservation and strictly scientific work, the architecture of the designed building is to serve greater interaction between the institution and the visitors or simply passers-by. The form and function of the walls limiting the space of "well-holes" by their dimensions and logic engage in dialogue with a side facade of the Church of the Name of Jesus, of which, in the urban sense, is an extension. The walls act as the main support of the building structure, similar to the internal façades on which the floors of subsequent floors are based. The openings in them introduce the visitors to individual rooms, from the main hall on the ground floor to the Lviv skyline on the top floor. The clear rhythm and discipline of openings in the walls is a tribute to the surrounding historical buildings, based on the classic canon of architecture. The outer skin of the building was treated in a similar way, assuming articulation based on repetitive rhythms of openings. The width and density of the windows depend on the rooms behind them and their need for daylight.

The another “well-hole”, analogous in form to the first, was located on the axis stretched between the church of the Name of Jesus and the main entrance to the Ossolineum building. In spite of the narrow and limited visual relationship between new building and existing edifices, the emptiness that crosses the Museum at its entire height allows the lecture of significant fragments of historical buildings from a considerable distance and from different perspectives. In order to make these perspectives as diversified as possible the main staircase in the form of sculpture-like ribbon was placed in the void of “well-hole”. Moving up the stairs to the top of the building users may behold fragments of historical buildings each time from a slightly different point of view. The culmination of this upward journey is an observation terrace from which stretches a wide panorama of the historical center of the city.