Dutch firm Meccanoo Architecten just won a competition to design the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw, Poland. The historic Lazienki Park is one of the most important tourist destinations in Warsaw and includes 18th and 19th century buildings such as the Royal Baths, a Roman-inspired theater and a water tower. The existing gardens in the park were all designed around these historic buildings. In Mecanoo's Garden of the 21st Century proposal, however, the design of the museum will be closely influenced by the landscape, instead of the other way around.
The design team led by Meccanoo includes Michael van Gessel, Delva Landscape Architects and Jojko Nawrocki Architekci. The team was tasked with designing a new 2.5 hectare Garden of the 21st century with an integrated exhibition pavilion in Lazienki park in Warsaw. The 1800 square meter underground exhibition pavilion will look as if it’s growing out from an undulating path on the garden.
There will be two entry points carved out of the sidewalls and one carved out of the garden itself. The entry hall will connect two major exhibition spaces and two smaller ones with modular layouts. Several oculi (large round skylights) will perforate the walkway, and the surrounding vegetation will create a mysterious play of light in the garden while providing carefully controlled daylight in the pavilion. The pavilion will host large temporary exhibitions and the garden is an example of 21st century landscape architecture that will provide a place for local environmental education.