The Museum of Contemporary Art in Wrocław

    Competition design: September 2008.

    Authors: Ph.D. Arch. Marek Kozień, Ph.D. Arch. Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak, M.Sc. Arch. Katarzyna Kozień-Kornecka.

    Cooperation: Arch. Arch. Małgorzata Szewczyk, Michał Rączka, Magdalena Habrat Rączka, Michał Kornacki, Joanna Filipek, Jakub Kornecki, Beata Tokarska, Marcin Gierbienis.
    Investor: The Municipal Commune – The Office of the City of Wrocław.

    Conference room and auditorium: 250 seats.
    Usable area: 16 790 50 m ².
    Multimedia Club: 200 seats.

    A museum of contemporary art should make a venue for a series of activity zones for various groups of participation and be of the character of a friendly, open and flexible space integrating closed spaces with the space of the city surrounding such an object.

    The location of the new Museum of Contemporary Art makes it possible to look for some solutions which aim at creating a cooperative complex of museum objects connected by means of a grand layout of park greenery. Undoubtedly, the mutual bonds between programmatically diverse museums, accompanying open-air exhibitions and a park will create a new quality and relations between the spectators and the museum objects as well as between these objects and their surroundings.

    The strong necessity of incorporating the open areas of the park into the impact of the museum objects caused a search for a common compositional and programmatic element which ought to become one of the greatest attractions of the park areas. This element is the Multimedia Information Avenue from Jana Ewangelisty Purkyniego St. southwards along the development line of Andrzeja Frycza Modrzewskiego St. (in its northern part) which finishes at the intersection with the direction of the development lines of the Museum of Architecture and the direction of the park avenue along J. Słowackiego Ave.

    The basic assumption for the location of the MCA is the formation of an entrance square from Jana Kapistrana St. It has a wide opening to the ground floor zone of the object: a forum and a room for temporary expositions and roofing which marks the historical directions of the course of the quarter development (additionally emphasized by a glazed and illuminated "dissection" of the square surface and material diversification). It of the character of an urban loggia open towards the body of a church which generates various kinds of activity: exhibitions, plays, meetings, also including external elements of a café and a restaurant.

    This object is a composition of two "independent" spatial forms. One of them – by its intended deformation – covers a large part of the entrance square in the vicinity of Jana Kapistrana St. On a large area, both bodies (by the accepted constructional solutions) were raised onto the level of the surrounding square which produces the impression of being hung over a vast and generally accessible urban space. This effect is additionally emphasized by a hollow on the ground level along the elevation from Frycza-Modrzewskiego St. which facilitates the eye penetration of the underground space of the museum. The dissection of the form has vertical transport connecting the permanent exposition levels (on the 1st floor) and expositions in the multipurpose rooms forming a complex with the auditorium and the multimedia club studio. The main entrance to the MCA from the roofed square in front of the side façade of the Bernardine Church (MA) influences the space of the museum forum and the exhibitions in the entrance zone. From the forum with an information desk, box offices and the museum bookshop, you can go to the gastronomy zone (a café and a restaurant) or to the upper and lower level of expositions and a complex of multipurpose and spectator rooms. The upper level (a library, an external roof exposition) is accessible by means of staircases and lifts both from the forum level and the cloakroom level with sanitary complexes located at the transitional level between the forum and the complex of multipurpose rooms.

    The conference auditorium for 250 people is based upon the idea of a broad range of spatial transformations facilitating flexible adjustment to such required functions as concerts, theatrical presentations and conferences. It makes it possible to divide the space in forms from the flat auditorium and stage floor to various settings of the segments of the auditorium stalls.

    The foyer makes a space behind the back wall on the level of the stage and the multipurpose rooms making it possible to connect the hall with the cloakroom level and the museum forum on the level of the square. The construction of this object and the layout of its rooms guarantee a limitation of the level of external noises and reverberations between the rooms.

    The Multimedia Club for 200 people is a room with a changeable auditorium-stage relation. Its principle of transformability produces conditions for gaining both a free space with a flat floor and a possibility of shaping a one-direction auditorium in the amphitheatre layout, an "en ronde" crosswise stage etc. with the potential of producing shows in the classical layout of a box stage for completely open and changeable performances requiring an individual location of a spectator and an actor.

    The exhibition rooms are located on the ground floor, on the – 8.00 level, as a complex of multipurpose rooms, and on the + 6.00 m level as a complex of two rooms for a permanent presentation with a separated recreation zone for the visitors. The library and the mediatheque as a two-level space is located above the exhibition room and the opening to the entrance square and the monastery complex.

    The educational and administrative rooms as well as the Members Club occupy two upper storeys of the body along Purkiniego St.

    The roof has separated zones of accessibility:
    - zone of presentation of works of art and other artistic events
    - zone of a view terrace on the Oder River
    - zone of a separated garden with a possibility of separating a guest club

    The elevation of the building in the hung overground part is constructed in the system of elements of sheet copper installed according to a system based on a layout of dividing the plane of the flat elevation of three closed elements (300 x 40 cm) made of two kinds of full and perforated (web) sheet designed for the needs of the object. The gained assembly elements (six kinds) make it possible to model the elevation planes freely which results from functional and technological needs. In the window belts, there are some perforated elements and empty fields guaranteeing the access of daylight.