Dialogue Center Przelomy by Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes
The Dialogue Center Przelomy by Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes in Szczecin (Poland), has been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
Before the WWII, Szczecin was a German city and the location of the Dialogue Center Przelomy used to be a urban quarter. During the war, the quarter was destroyed. After war, Szczecin became a Polish city. In December ’70, there were bloody clashes against the militia. Since those events, a square has became a symbol of the fight for freedom, which is commemorated by a monument over there. Thus, an idea of a museum of the latest history of Szczecin in that place came up.
Former quarter is marked on the opposite corners by smooth uplifts of the square. One of them contains a museum and another one works as a hill, protecting square from the busy street. As a result, an amphitheatric space of the square was created. To receive a monolithic character of the whole design, the architects attributed one material – concrete – to it, so on the material division of the square floor go in elevation.
Competition site didn’t included whole square, however, Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes decided to break it to give to the city an added value – a space, which gives brand new opportunities. Outline of the museum came from the competition site. Groundfloor is mainly the entrance zone, underground level became is exhibition space.
Stairway the exhibition space is the border between two worlds, due to blackness of the whole underground level. This idea came up during the realization, when it turned out, that the architects would not design the exhibition space. Despite of the ban, Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes pushed trough a smooth flooring, best for riding and doing sports, therefore, while museum is closed, life is still goes on on a square. Topography of the square encourages to skateboarding, skating or sledding. A square has preserved its symbolic character, this is still a place for annual ceremonies.
City authorities began to use sloping surface of the square for openair concerts and summer cinema. Szczecin inhabitants understood, this is their square and now they are gathering there to celebrate as well to manifest and express their opinions.
Images courtesy of Juliusz Sokolowski, Jakub Certowicz