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Museum of Emotions in the ruins of the power plant. Polish project shortlisted for competition!

27 of November '23
w skrócie
  1. The project for the adaptation of the Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant into a Museum of Emotions, by Martyna Kramarz - a graduate student of PK architecture - was shortlisted for the Buildner platform competition.
  2. The challenge of the competition was to evoke emotions through architecture, limiting the presentation to images without the use of text.
  3. Using the ruins of the power plant, water, light and colors, the author built the atmosphere of the museum, evoking positive and negative emotions.
  4. Martyna Kramarz's goal was to transform the nuclear power plant from a symbol of danger into a center of culture and education.
  5. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal.

{tag:studenci} a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at Kraków University of Technology, in response to the unusual challenge of the third edition of the international competition "Museum of Emotions" of the Buildner platform, adapted the unfinished Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant into a Museum of Emotions. Her work „The Emotive Reactor,” which prompts viewers to get in touch with various feelings, was shortlisted for the competition.

As part of a series of annual architectural competitions called „Museum of Emotions,” participants were asked by organizers to use architecture as a tool to evoke emotions, by adjusting scale, colors, light and materials. The goal was to design a museum consisting of two rooms representing opposite emotions—positive and negative. Participants could choose any location, real or imaginary, and were free to choose the design's structure and scale, while the definition of positive and negative emotions was also subject to interpretation. An additional and perhaps the biggest challenge was to present the concept using only images, not using text.

Muzeum Emocji położone jest niedaleko jeziora Żarnowieckiego

The Museum of Emotions is located near Lake Żarnowieckie

© Martyna Kramarz

The works submitted for the competition were evaluated by a jury consisting of: Ben van Berkel (UNStudio), Stephanie Deumer, Lydia Kallipoliti (Cooper Union New York, ANAcycle thinktank Nina Freedman (DREAMLAND CREATIVE PROJECTS), James Krueger (HMC Architects'), Françoise N'Thépé (FRANÇOISE N "THÉPÉ ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN), Nuno Pimenta, Angelo Renna and Yu-Ying Tsai (ZJJZ Atelier).

Three grand prizes were awarded (1st Prize + Buildner Student Award + Buildner Sustainability Award went to a team from China consisting of: Jiaxun Song, Xinyue Dong, Zehong Zhang), six honorable mentions, and the competition shortlist was published. On it were two projects from Poland: by Martyna Kramarz, a graduate of the Cracow University of Technology, and a team from the Wroclaw University of Technology, consisting of: Wojciech Rzyczniak, Grzegorz Sygiet, Tytus Tarczynski. You will read about their proposal soon in the next article.

Muzeum Emocji znajduje się na terenie nieukończonej Elektrowni Jądrowej Żarnowiec

The Museum of Emotions is located on the site of the unfinished Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant

© Martyna Kramarz

museum in the old nuclear power plant

Martyna Kramarz in the competition proposal, which also became her master's thesis done under the supervision of Dr. Jolanta Sroczynska, Prof. PK, focused on the adaptation of the unfinished Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant into a Museum of Emotions. The walls of the Żarnowiec power plant complex, are located on the grounds of the decommissioned former village of Kartoszyno, located near Lake Żarnowieckie. The facility, which was originally intended for nuclear power production, was transformed by the author fromsymbol of danger into a center for culture and education.

Occupying more than 12 hectares, the concrete structure of the power plant was built in 1982-89. The decision to abandon the investment was made in 1989, prompted by the Chernobyl disaster and protests by local residents. Despite the revision of the plans and decommissioning of the machinery, the walls remained, which I decided to use for the Museum of Emotions," explains the architect.

The author's goal, as required by the organizers, was to create a space that would affect visitors both positively and negatively, using a variety of architectural and artistic elements. The architect builds emotions using the remains of the power plant's concrete structure, as well as with three additional elements to enhance the experience—water, light and color.

Muzeum Emocji, rzut

Museum of Emotions, projection

© Martyna Kramarz

The regulator of the intensity of emotions is a maze, which introduces an element of play before entering the museum. In addition, the author takes advantage of the building's surroundings, both through view openings, such as the new observation tower or cut-outs in the walls, and the surrounding area, where she designed a sensory garden. This allows visitors to the museum to experience emotions through all their senses.

W Muzeum Emocji znajduje się też restauracja i audytorium

The Museum of Emotions also has a restaurant and auditorium

© Martyna Kramarz

On the site, the author introduced three new facilities: a viewing tower, an auditorium (allowing for all kinds of workshops related to emotions or psychology) and a restaurant.

Efekt buduje woda w formie wodospadu Pomarańczowy kolor ma wywoływać pozytywne emocje

Emotions in the museum's interiors are built by water in different states of aggregation

© Martyna Kramarz

water as a source of emotions

All the foundations of the power plant were flooded, which the designer decided to take advantage of by introducing water into the museum's interior and using it in different states of aggregation.

It was intended that water would have a key effect on the functioning of the power plant—it was to be its cooling element. For these reasons, I decided to use water as one of the main stimulators, building the museum's emotions. For example, art installations can use steam, water, the reflection of buildings in its surface, or a sound element in the form of rain," explains Martyna Kramarz.

Otwarcia widokowe i gra światłem naturalnym Muzeum Emocji, część poświęcona pozytywnym emocjom

The author used view openings and different types of light

© Martyna Kramarz

the role of light

To build mood, the author used different types of light. She introduced spaces with natural lighting and contrasted them with dark rooms without a clearly defined path of exploration. The use of light with stark contrasts and sharp shadows was intended to build a sense of mystery and slight unease.

Muzeum Emocji, przekrój

Museum of Emotions, cross-section

© Martyna Kramarz

the power of color

In the interiors of the museum and on the exterior facades, Martyna used contrasting colors from the dominant color palette. This makes it easier for visitors to notice the division of the building—the part with positive emotions is orange shades, and the part with negative emotions is characterized by purple and dark blue colors.

Muzeum Emocji, model Światło prowadzi odwiedzających muzeum

The architect introduced the color division of the building

© Martyna Kramarz

In addition to the main blocks devoted to emotions, the rest of the building was kept by the designer in a natural gray shade of concrete to serve as a background for the colors that appear.

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