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Space For Art. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cracow

Part 2 Project 2002
Agnieszka Wasowicz
Cracow University of Technology Krakow Poland
The main idea is that the museum should be piece of art itself. This is the base of the project - simple, harmonic and clear in its form. Horizontal and vertical lines, as leading directions, are supplemented with square and rectangular forms. The shapes are repeated, by specific rhythm, on the overview plan as well as on the elevation. The project is suppose to take back the idea of the museum - museum as a space for art and not a commercial center that presents art “by the way”. The idea is to create a temple of art that will be visited only because of the pieces of art gathered in it.

The site.

The building is located on the opposite side of city’s enormous concert and recreation spot and from the other side is delimited by a river. The main thought was to create a new characteristic point, having in mind existing architectonic and natural forms.

The form.

The chosen form is a cuboid with a square module proportions. The elevation is made of concrete and its structure is designed as an architectonical detail. Within the first sight there are no window openings. The elevation is homogeneous disturbed only by a single, transversal ramp. The whole building is enclosed in a moat what gives an impression of floating in the air. The supposed point of junction between the water and the concrete creates the feeling of inaccessibility and infinity. The spectator can spot two images: one real, solid and sharp, the other one almost unreal and blurred.

The solid.

The whole cuboid stands on a glass wall that runs along its sides. The suspending elements of the construction are hidden. The ascetic and simple design of the exterior differs tremendously from the labyrinth of ramps, walls and levels of the interior. The effect is emphasized with the openwork character of the elements.

The details.

The building highlights the duality in design also by the usage of colors and materials. Black and white walls are made of heaviness of the concrete combined with lightness of the glass. Sharpness of the solid is contrasted with the softness of the surrounding water. The reflections of light are giving the effect of variability to a stable and heave building.

Agnieszka Wasowicz

The diploma project consists of:

- 20 large-scale drawings (100x70) including 1:200 drawings, perspective drawings, computer drawings and 1:20 construction detail.
- 1:500 model.
- Maquett – a transposition of Malewicz’s graphic.
- Dissertation - “Minimalism in the Architecture” – 51 page theoretic part with illustrations.
- Project’s specification – 27 pages with illustrations.

The museum is located in the area where Cracow’s Old Town loses its magical influence, by the Rudawa river, next to B³onia (48 ha) – pasturage till the end of XIX century and a recreation and cultural place now.

The student shows an extensive analysis - the project and a theoretical part. The whole work came in to being as a fascination for architectural minimalism and concrete architecture. The minimalism is derived from Frank Lloyd Wright’s words: "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art" and the concrete aesthetics from Le Corbusier’s “beton brut”.

The beginning of the architectonic creation is very original and interesting. The student questions: “where from get a fresh architectonic form?” In order to attain the aim, student finds in The World Museum of Imagination a relevant Malewicz’s graphic and due to artist’s idea (“…painting is a transition to architecture…”) translates the image into a 3 dimensional form and gives an architectonic meaning to it.

The idea has been completed by an urbanistic analysis due to the thesis that the architecture is suppose to be derived from city’s geometrical context. As a result the form is simple and adequate for the site.

The interior includes a poetic element of mystery. The cuboid is destitute of ornaments and uses colours, facture of materials as an architectonic detail. The construction is an integral part of the architectonic form.

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