As Gin fever runs through the UK with distilleries popping up on every street corner, so Poland with an established heritage in the spirit world, celebrates its long relationship with Vodka by opening what is claimed to be the world’s first Polish Vodka museum.
The museum has been crafted out of the revitalized 19th century vodka factory complex. Warsaw based Nizio Design International studio is responsible for the design, interior design, museum exhibition and author’s supervision over the project. The museum’s location made the creators respect its specificity, historical context and conservation requirements, while applying the latest technological and exhibition solutions.
The architects claim that the innovativeness and uniqueness of the project lies primarily in the materials used and technologies developed for the purposes of creation of the revitalized facility.
The design by Nizio Design is based on the application of solutions strictly corresponding to the nature of the building, its history and use of recovery materials or materials equivalent to the ones applied in the past. In the project, top quality natural materials were utilized such as glass, steel, concrete or copper which was historically applied in distillation equipment. In the building of the former rectification plant, where the Polish Vodka Museum is located today, the original steel structure and elements of finishing and interior decoration have been preserved.
The museum, it is claimed., affects all the senses – it not only tells a fascinating story but also lets it be heard, seen, touched, or even smelled and tasted. The exhibition is located in five galleries and presents the history of vodka production in Poland from the 15th century to the present day. The concept of the exhibition is based on the simultaneous use of multimedia and artifacts, including original distillery equipment and symbolically reconstructed age-old distillation devices, concrete vats or kilns.
The consistency of the project concept is reflected both in the details and in the background elements of the exhibition – ceilings, walls, floors. The ceilings are finished with Wema gratings and oil tanned black perforated sheets. Some of the walls are refined with the traditional technique of concrete trowelling, while others were left with bricks typical of the 19th century complex. The floors are made of wood recovered from one of the Polish distilleries. The development of the architectural details required the team to carry out numerous analyses and tests in order to achieve the desired effect. The original piping elements, instruments, kilns and concrete stairs in the main staircase have been preserved in the entire facility.
Nick Myall is away.