Ingarden&Ewy Architekci win competition to design new Congress Center in Krakow
Krakow's Congress Center will create a new architectural reference to a fragment of the Krakow city nearby Vistula river waterfront, adjusted to the prestigious historical and contemporary context of the Old City, Kazimierz and Podgorze districts. A functional and compositional building layout follows an interior and exterior traffic directions scheme, determining view points to create extensive public spaces opened to the city's main historical landmarks.
The new Congress Center occupies a corner of the plot nearby Grunwaldzki Roundabout; an important car, bus and tram road junction. The contemporary countenance of the building is formed by organic irregular shapes and differentiation of materials, contrasted with a spectacular foyer covered with glazing and opened up to a great view of Krakow panorama.
The solid dimension is diminished in the direction of the Vistula river due to an optical reduction of the building's large scale in the context of green boulevards nearby. A glazed, three storey high foyer allows visitors to 'see and to be seen'. The building's mass will be visible from Wawel Castle's view terrace, altogether with a curved roof on the fifth elevation. From this view, the new Congress Center should harmonise with fluid form of Museum of Japanese Art and Technology designed by Arata Isozaki & Associates (in collaboration with Ingarden & Ewý Architekci). Basic elevation materials - glass and titanium steel - are refilled with individually designed ceramic panels, along with granite, limestone and sandstone plates, refering to typical historical materials used in Wawel Castle.
This composition of differentiated materials juxtaposed with glass creates a colourful mosaique on the elevations, defining the architectural expression of the building. The Congress Center is around 18,000 sq m. The building contains 3 halls with capacities of 1,800, 600 and 300 seats, plus conference rooms of 500 sq m, storage, technical supplies and underground parking for 320 cars.