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Subterranean Polish museum named best building in world at WAF

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A museum built below an undulating public square in north-west Poland has been crowned World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (WAF)

Designed by Robert Konieczny and his practice KWK Promes, the National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy was described by chief judge David Chipperfield as ’optimistic, poetic and imaginative’.

He said: ’This project enriches the city and the life of the city. It addresses a site with three histories, pre-World War II, wartime destruction and post-war development, which left a significant gap in the middle of the city.

’This is a piece of topography as well as a museum. To go underground is to explore the memory and archaeology of the city, while above ground the public face of the building, including its undulating roof, can be interpreted and used in a variety of ways.’

The building is the second in Szczecin to win a major national award in the last two years.

 Robert Konieczny and his practice KWK Promes, the National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy

Robert Konieczny and his practice KWK Promes, the National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy

Robert Konieczny and his practice KWK Promes, the National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy

In 2015 the neighbouring Filharmonia Szczecinska concert hall by Barcelona-based practice Barozzi Veiga scooped the Mies van der Rohe Prize.

Meanwhile the Future Project of the Year 2016 award - which celebrates the best yet-to-be completed projects - was handed to South Melbourne Primary School by Australian practice Hayball.

The 525-student school has been hailed as ’a new model of vertical school responding to the specific inner-urban context of the developing Fishermans Bend urban renewal area in the city’.

WAF’s Future Project super-jury, which included 3XN’s Kim Nielsen, Ole Scheeren and SHoP Architects’ Coren Sharples, chose the school for the way it ’interpreted and promoted pedagogy’. 

The award for the world’s best small project went to the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture for its ZCB Bamboo Pavilion project - a four-storey gridshell structure spanning 37m, built from 473 bamboo poles.

Held in Berlin for the first time this year, the World Architecture Festival is set to return to the German capital in 2017 on 15-17 November.

WBOY 2016   National Musuem in Szczecin   Dialogue Centre Przelomy3

WAF 2016: The National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy, Poland - the World Building of the Year 2016 at the World Architecture Festival

The National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy, Poland 

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