WAN Awards 2015


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Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland

Thursday 14 Aug 2014

'Progressive, optimistic and transparent'

Images: Encore 
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Thomas Phifer and Partners set to design interconnected Museum of Modern Art and TR Warszama Theatre in Warsaw, Poland 

In March this year, WAN announced the shortlist for a design competition to generate a new joint home for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the TR Warszama Theatre. This competition (see brief here) has now been won by New York-based Thomas Phifer and Partners. The combined cost of these two venues is approximately $126m with a completion date set for the end of 2019.

The winning design comprises two separate volumes connected by a covered passageway or ‘forum’. On one side of this forum, visitors will find a 15,000 sq m building housing the Museum of Modern Art and on the other will be a 10,000 sq m volume for the TR Warszawa Theatre. This shared space will be a platform for concerts, outdoor performances, and art exhibitions.

"This is a unique moment in the history and culture of Warsaw, where a creative trajectory is intersecting with positive political and economic forces," says Thomas Phifer. "This new home for contemporary artistic expression, the new cultural centre of gravity for Warsaw, must embody this progressive essence. It's about people, open, welcoming, accessible. It must be progressive, optimistic, transparent and populist in spirit."

Thomas Phifer and Partners will also be submitting a concept for the nearby park and Plac Defilad (public square) to aid continuity between these interconnected areas. The design of the TR Warszama Theatre is such that passers-by will be able to enjoy certain performances as a stage opens out onto Plan Defilad. They will also be able to witness the internal goings on as some rehearsal spaces and back of house spaces will be encased in transparent glass. 

Key Facts

Status Competition win
Value 94(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Thomas Phifer and Partners

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