Marble as memory: The Polish History Museum

The Polish History Museum in Warsaw is the biggest museum in Poland.. The museum was shortlisted, in the museum category, alongside 6 other museums for the prestigious Prix Versailles 2024, a UNESCO prize which recognizes the finest contemporary projects worldwide.

This is the first time in the history of the competition that a special category - The World’s Most Beautiful Museums - was prepared for museum architecture. The prix Versailles will be awarded in November 2024 at the UNESCO headquarters

History Written in Stone

The architecture of the Polish History Museum was designed by architects from the WXCA studio as a philosophical story about the process of history, with stone as the narrative language for discovering traces of the past. As the authors from WXCA explain, each marble slab is different, unique, just as all history consists of unique, individual events.

Restoring The Warsaw Citadel to the city

Along with the opening of the Polish History Museum, the revitalised, green area of the historic Warsaw Citadel was also opened to the city, which now serves as a ‘culture park’ – a space dedicated to culture, remembrance and everyday recreation. The institution is set to become a place of multidimensional contact with Polish history, as well as a space for discussion, knowledge acquisition and contact with culture, and a centre of social life. Apart from the space reserved for exhibitions and rooms for the storage and conservation of artefacts, nearly the 45,000 m2 site includes numerous spaces with a cultural function as a concert hall for 600 people, a cinema and theatre hall, a library, conference and education rooms, catering points, and a terrace with a panoramic views of Warsaw.

Privacy clad in velvet

A total of 1600 m2 of back-painted glass Matelac Silver Clearvision was used for wall cladding of 12 bathrooms. Matt finishing surface and neutral colour creating a smooth effect which enhanced the premises of calm and privacy. To enhance safety for this specific application, a transparent polypropylene SAFE+ film has been applied to the painted side of Matelac to ensure, in case of breakage, that the glass fragments are held together, thus preventing injuries. Moreover the film protects back-painted glass in humid areas. Anti-fingerprint glass surface provides easy maintenance and cleaning.

The Polish History Museum, together with the newly opened Polish Army Museum as well as the X Pavilion and the Katyn Museum already located on site of the Warsaw Citadel will become one of the largest and most modern museum complexes in Europe.

Investor: Polish History Museum in WarsawArchitects: WXCA Sp. z o. o.
General contractor: Budimex S.A.
Glass type: Matelac Silver Clearvision  SAFE+ 4 and 6 mm
Wall cladding area:  1600 m2
Glass installer: AGC Glass Poland Sp. z o.o., Opatów Plant
Realization: 2023
Photo: Piotr Krajewski © AGC Glass Europe

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