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Museum of the Greaterpoland Uprising

Type. Architecture, Public Building

Location. Poznan, Poland
Date. 2019
Client. Competition

Status. Concept Design

Size.10,450 sqm


Our proposal for the Museum of the Greaterpoland Uprising originates from two main guiding principles. Firstly the intent to create a complex which integrates harmoniously with its surroundings. We aim to minimize the impact to the forestry, shield the galleries from solar heat exposure and maximize the views to St. Wojciech Church; the second main intent is to create a rich and immersive experience for the visitor where the journey through the exhibition is supported and accompanied by a rich variety of open spaces, courtyards which also work as display for external exhibitions, accessible roof tops to contemplate the surroundings a memorial for the heroes of the uprising and a viewing point 30 meters from the ground to enjoy views to the city.

The museum rises gradually in height from south to north blending in with the park and peaking at the north-end the grand entrance plaza is located. The gradual rise of height allows for sunlight to filter through the three courtyards flanking the circulation of the museum. The entrance plaza is flanked by an eight story building which works as a “beacon” a landmark within the city and an attraction point. Accessed from the main plaza it houses the offices and administration units and a viewing platform on the top level proving 360 degree views over Poznan. This provides an added value to the public, a meeting spot high up above the horizon.

The Approach.

The front square articulates the access to the museum, to the administration building and to the Education Centre. This last one is located on the left hand side of the plaza, underneath the grand cantilever we envisage a transparent lobby which leading into an auditorium space. The second level of the building hosts the library as well as conference rooms.

At the far end of the square we have placed the lobby to the administration building and entrance to the public viewing point. Boasting a slim footprint the tower allows for all the divisions of the museum to have their own floor and enjoy broad views of the city. The height of the building is 34.8m above the plaza level, just below the roof top of St. Wojciech church.

The main reception is located on the right of the plaza. Upon entering, a double height space with glazed sides features views to St. Wojciech and the forested hill, constantly reminding the connection of the user with the surroundings. The temporary exhibition building is placed directly above the reception hall and can be accessed separately from the permanent collection.

The permanent galleries are spread around the south side of the complex in two levels, B1 and GF. The passages connecting the galleries are orientated towards the internal courtyards and transition spaces are opening towards the forested hills. The journey of the visitor is designed to be constantly connected with the exteriors and the surrounding environment of the building, catering for moments of break and contemplation in between the galleries in order to absorb the just discovered information.

The viewing of the exhibition will start from a centrally located, double height, introductory hall. The visitor will be invited downstairs into B1 via a spiral staircase, where the modules 1, 2 and 3 are located. The visitor will then be brought back to the GF via an escalator where the remaining galleries are located. The loop finishes back at the reception giving the visitor the option to continue to the Temporary Gallery or perhaps go up into the rooftop in order to relax and immerse into the greenery of the hills. Access to the The Poznan mock-Up room and the kaiser panorama is provided through the internal hall.


Back of House.

The new extension of the Grochowe Łąki Street will function as the service road for the complex. Both the Conservation Workshops as well as the Collection Storage will be located on this side. Both buildings will be equipped by a generous loading bay as well as an open area for artwork handling. The same road will serve as an access point for the tourist bus parking as well as the entrance to an underground parking. Locating all these functions on one side of the complex will free up the grand entrance for car free access.



In order to engage the viewers, we envisage the museography to contain big scale projections, engaging movies and surprising and interactive installations made from photos, maps and small exhibits. All in order to create a sense of discovery and understanding of the important events in the Polish history. Multimedia touch screens will allow the visitors to get deeper into specific subjects; holograms will provide 3D images of exhibits which are usually kept behind glass. Other materials will be presented in specially designed and carefully studied display cases and podiums to suit the size and importance of the objects.


The atmosphere of the exhibition will be dimmed, mysterious, dramatic; it will transport the viewer right into the middle of the uprising events and will be designed to touch the hearts, shock and leave the viewer with deeper understanding of the turmoil times and complex history and full of hope and pride.


The exhibition will continue into the main plaza, internal courtyard as well as the public park. One of the main features of the display would be an external memorial of the fallen heroes in the form of names covering the internal hall walls. The installation will be viewed from the courtyard and surrounded with shallow pools of water which will create a serene atmosphere and allow for contemplation of the lost souls.



The building will have two contrasting materials and tectonic qualities; rough, opaque concrete covering the main buildings and black casted iron in the form of shading panels for the offices and the circulation walkways which is inspired by the rich history of ironwork in the Poznan’s Cegielski Factory. Further on the rooftops of the Education Centre and Conservation Building will feature a folded plate iron rooftop with glazed openings oriented towards the North side. The North which stripped from direct sunlight is the best orientation for programs like libraries and conservation workshops where old booksand artworks can be sensitive to light.


The rest of the rooftops will be covered with greenery as well as will provide outdoor resting spots. Those can be accesses from the Reception area via lifts and then via connecting bridges. This will form an additional public space for the surrounding area and will be an extension of the public park in the South side of the site. Additionally, the low-rise South side of the museum complex will blend in with the surrounding hills and will provide a harmonious background for the St. Wojciech Church.

Project Team: 
Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Natalia Wrzask, Paola Barrenechea, Jose Luis Mulás

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