Helsinki-based Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects has been awarded the first Finlandia Prize for Architecture for their Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The building looks like a big box on the outside, but has a large cavernous entrance that cuts throughout the volume in a flowing, sculptural way. The project was designed in collaboration with Polish firm Kurylowicz & Associates, and features one of the world's largest built uniform double-curved surfaces.
The building is located on site of the former WWII Warsaw Ghetto, close to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial. It houses different programs, including research, education, exhibitions and other cultural content related to Jewish heritage.
The facade is made from perforated copper and silkscreen-printed glass panels decorated with Latin and Hebrew text. The cavern-like entrance has smooth surfaces that extend through the entire height of the building, the unified flowing texture of which was achieved using a spraying application technique.
The project won the Finlandia Prize, which aims to become the equivalent of the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Literature established in the 1980s.