Garden of the 21st Century with Underground Exhibition Pavilion

Warsaw, Poland

Architecture, Interior, Museum / Exhibition

Size: 4,200 m2
Status: Ongoing
Project Design: 2013 - 2014
Address: ul. Agrykoli 1, 00-460 Warsaw
Client: Royal Łazienki Museum

Design Team: Landscape architect: Michael van Gessel in cooperation with Delva Landscape Architects. Architect of underground pavilion: Mecanoo in cooperation with Jojko+Nawrocki architekci

Programme: The entrance level functions as a public space including ticket offices; administration rooms; cloakrooms and a café. The mezzanine on minus 3,5m houses sanitation and technical rooms. The lowest level on minus 7,0m: foyer (400 m2); two large exhibition rooms (each room is 800m2); exhibition gallery (200 m2); multifunctional room (300 m2) and storage spaces. Site area: app. 2,8 ha

Awards: 1st prize competition

The Garden of the 21st Century will add 2.5 hectares to Warsaw’s Lazienki Park and include an underground exhibition pavilion that will grow out of the undulating garden walkway.

The pavilion and garden are inextricably linked and will be experienced as a large gesture to revitalise the natural and cultural heritage area of the Royal Lazienki, leaving the existing values untouched.

The exhibition pavilion lies nestled beneath the garden, only showing its presence by way of more visible undulation across the garden’s topography, creating wavy garden walls.  The two main entrances are carved out of these walls which double as the pavilion’s facades. 

The vaulted central foyer connects the garden level to the underground exhibition spaces by a sculptural spiral staircase.

Moving through the pavilion and down the stairs will be reminiscent of a historic garden landscape with grottos, waterfalls and bridges sitting amongst a new setting of modern architectural language.

Large circular skylights allow daylight to penetrate the central entrance hall, giving the vaulted space an uplifted appearance. At night, the effect is inverted as light from the pavilion protrudes the garden areas from below, creating a different presence in the park.

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