Polin. Photograph by Konrad Pustola (2015, detail).
Polin. Photograph by Konrad Pustola (2015, detail).

Photo Poem: Polin by Konrad Pustola. Architecture that challenges the idea of the Other.

Since the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects have gained overwhelming acclaim for the museum architecture, perhaps the most recent ones being the Finlandia Prize 2014 and the nomination for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. All this hype may blur our ability to understand the ultimate purpose of the museum building: to serve the local community.

It is with this idea in mind that we have asked Konrad Pustola, a renowned young Polish artist, to reflect the meaning of the museum building with his art. Our Photo Poem series continues with his affecting photography.

POLIN

The Incredible relation between the inside and the outside. how inclusive the inside is.
The fact that when you are outside you can still observe that is going on inside and vice versa.
The architecture challenges the idea of the Other, challenges the feeling of being an insider and the outsider.
The main hall is the extension of the outside.
The building doesn’t dominate. its proportions and hight are similar to the building surrounding it.
It fits to the surrounding environment but it also adds some sort to nobility to it.
It cancels estrangement.

One can get close to it and have a glimpse of what is going on inside.
This gesture solves the problem of the Other.
The problem of exclusion.
The need to cross the barrier in order to feel included.

The organic design of the interior coupled with the modernistic form of the outside produces the feeling of both harmony and security.

It is a shrink couch. A shrink office.
It is a territory that invites in rather then rejects.
We feel safe there. The divide between the inside and the outside is dissolved.
the building doesn’t dominate. It naturally blends into the surrounding.
The proportions of the building referencing the size of the square and the surrounding apartment blocks is very harmonious.
Its modernistic rectangular form fits so well to the environment.
The transparent glass walls invite to gaze inside.
There is a lack of hiding of what is inside.
The relation with the monument. The trapezoidal oblique resonates with the trapezoidal entrance.
The relation with the park.
The easiness of being able to park the car in the vicinity of the museum.
Human scale.
— Konrad Pustola.