Competition | Planet Lem Museum


Krakow, Poland
literature museum
credits: Alexandrina Remescu Simo
Ana-Maria Voinescu | Adriana Caraza
Alexandru Muntean
Calin Lambrache | Valeriu Nicolaides
Nemanja Aleksic
special thanks to Eliza Biała

Rather than trying to translate Stanislaw Lem’s texts into an architectural language, we wanted to base our design approach for the museum on his process of (re)writing. In the interview he gave Raymond Federman, he explains how, in order to achieve his final work, for each new version, he was rewriting everything from scratch. With each rewrite, the piece would gain new sense and meanings. 

Similar with his creative process, we “rewrote” the volume of the existing old building, form after form, transformed through processes of torsion, subtraction, and intersection with the previous form, and so on. These new copies cannot exist without the original building, just as the latter is not complete without the new volumes we generated.

At an urban scale, the coherency of the proposed shape within its context increases with the use of a roofline that reminds of the industrial structures that influenced the development of the area. 

The site plan was drawn taking into consideration a future possibility for a connection with the river, towards the North, by merging the adjacent properties. Also, to the South East, there is a connection with the railway station, the Mocak Museum and the Oskar Shindler factory.

The presence of water in front of the building speaks of the history of the site and the process of extracting salt from evaporation ponds.

In order to give back to the city as much public space as possible, a large part of the building is elevated from the ground. A covered exterior space connects the building’s interior circulation nodes and other spaces, like the cafe-bar, and can also be a perfect spot for events, video projections, reading spaces etc. 

The landscape presents a dynamic topography, consisting of vegetal, mineral and water features, just like one can also find in the much bigger outside landscape of our planet. These features are situated on a grid that morphs around the different elements it encounters – physical (pillars, terraces) or relational (vehicle entrances, footpaths, emergency exits).  

Further Projects