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Studio Awards

Gdansk Museum of the Second World War Vincent Snyder Architects, Austin

On September 1, 2009, government officials in Poland announced their decision to establish the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk where the war started on September 1, 1939. The museum is intended to become a new landmark for the City of Gdansk, commensurate with the nature, status, and location of the site. This 230,000-sf project is located on an irregular, polygonal site partially bounded by a canal. It is also constrained vertically by a high water table and a city code that restricts the building height to 82 ft and an architectural accent to 130 ft (40m). Three entrances are required by the program to address a variety of approaches. The solution is a reinterpretation of a European courtyard typology to provide respectful edge conditions to the city fabric. The entrances occur at the corners and open into different courtyard environments that vary between openair and glazed. Conflicting fields of regulating lines are generated by each of the three different boundary conditions of the pedestrian, street, and canal edges. These geometries are then reconciled and anchored by a symbolically charged Cartesian figure strictly aligned with the cardinal directions.

24 Texas Architect

11/12 2012

Jury Sound Bites: reference slides were interesting in showing how the design related to the existing buildings ... we were all impressed with the plan, which was very sophisticated in terms of how it employed rotation and engaged the edges of the site ... and that determined the form of the building ... it was a superimposed cross that allowed the connection between the independent wings

Texas Architect - November/December 2012: Redevelopment