The competition for the expansion of the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) in Warsaw covered three separate design assignments:
- a detailed arrangement of the Academy’s new building on a plot adjacent to the existing building on Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie;
- a proposal for the upgrading and vertical extension of the historic building;
- a concept of ASP’s new pavilion containing a gallery, museum and library on the Vistula riverside boulevard, opposite the plot currently occupied by the school.
The idea behind the design was to form the extension and the pavilion on the boulevard so that they become a part not only of a functional whole with the existing and planned structures along Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie (University Library, Copernicus Centre), but also to create together an integrated compositional scheme, conducive to the legibility of relationships and forming a spatial framework for cultural and social life, and for artistic events organized within its framework.
This idea is implemented through:
- the creation of an exhibition courtyard of the Academy building connected with the open exhibition space of the pavilion on the promenade – facing each other, they both take the form of inclined display planes; the interrelation of those spaces emphasizes the link between them despite the Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie carriageway;
- subordination of the space of the Academy building and of the pavilion to a similar concept where their functions are open to centrally located exhibition spaces freely explored by the public, which is expressed in the similar structures of both buildings, resting on longitudinal plates of walls whose grids meet in the open exhibition area;
- treating the space of the pavilion as part of the development of the pedestrian way along the green areas on the Vistula; hence, the Academy building, being strongly connected with the building on the boulevard will also become, via its courtyard, an element of that way;
- treating the outer form of the ASP pavilion in a way similar to the form of the Copernicus Centre building – both forming compact solids “threaded” onto a pedestrian way running along green areas on the Vistula; they are both suspended above the riverside boulevard;
- providing the public with access to the roof of the pavilion on the boulevard, as is the case with the University Library. The Gallery roof can be used as a venue for exhibitions, performances, artistic installations, fairs, etc.;
Those assumptions correspond to Oskar Hansen’s idea of open form which came into being in places including the Academy.