Magic in the underworld

2016-12-22

A subterranean museum in Stettin in north west Poland – that's where you'll find the building that has been designated best in the world for 2016. At any rate, if we are to believe the jury behind World Architecture Festival, which presents this prestigious award every year.

Buildings and houses are usually praised for grand and sometimes experimental designs, but two modest glass doors and a gently sloping ramp is all that is visible above ground of the National Museum in Stettin. Nevertheless, it is impossible not to be captivated by the simple yet suggestive aesthetics. 

Magi i underjorde3

"This is a design that is as poetic as it is imaginative. Going underground is a bit like exploring the memory of a city and its history, while the undulating roof functions as a walkway, capturing life as it is taking place right now," says David Chipperfield, the globally renowned architect who was also the jury's chairperson.
The sense of being below ground is strengthened by concrete grey or completely jet black walls, with spot lighting creating islands of light in order to produce the greatest possible drama.
One ofthe reasons why the Polish architect Robert Konieczny chose to have the museum sunk into the ground was so that it didn't block the view of the nearby Philharmonic Hall, another iconic building which won the Mies van der Rohe award – architecture's very own Nobel Prize – in 2014.

Magi i inderjorden

So, if you are the least bit interested in architecture, then it really is time to put Stettin on your own personal bucket list!