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Road of Remembrance - the project of the New Museum in Treblinka

28 of December '21
Technical data


Poland, Treblinka

Architects (Lahdelma & Mahlamäki):

Rainer Mahlamäki, Jukka Savolainen, Taavi Henttonen, Ilkka Syrjäkari

Architects (KXM):

Klaudia Golaszewska, Marek Grodzicki, Kinga Grzybowska, Michal Hondo

Sustainability Consultant:

Nicholas Steward

Designing a museum space related to memorial sites, especially one that has been marked by the tragedies of war, requires not only understanding, but above all respect. The Lahdelma & Mahlamäki studio, together with the KXM office, sought to create a museum space around the Treblinka extermination and labor camp.


The idea of organizing a new museum space in Treblinka is based on the symbolism of the road. From the very beginning of the tour, visitors to the museum move along a designated path - which is meant to refer to the tragic events of the war. The architectural forms are meant to overwhelm and induce reflection. The long and narrow path begins with the underground part of the tour. During it, the history of the camp will be presented. The next room is the inner lobby, through which it is possible to go to higher and higher levels. The finale of the path is the observation tower, showing the landscape of the death camp.

The museum wraps around the existing building, covering the exterior shape. Which would allow the reconstruction of the interior facade to be omitted. The old building could be rebuilt or removed - any scenario is possible with the enveloping shape of the museum.

Plan układu muzeum

layout of functions in the new architectural space

© Lahdelma & Mahlamäki / KXM

exhibition space

The design allows for the creation of an exhibition space in a form that is typically object-oriented, but also experiential. The architects indicate the possibility of creating a concept based solely on light and sound. "Corridor of Remembrance" forms the beginning of the exhibition, trying to sensitize visitors to the tragic events of the war. After entering the main foyer, participants have direct contact with the exhibition, which ends at the museum's rooftop observation tower.

Samuel Willenberg 's collection of sculptures was placed in a central position at the beginning of the exhibition. The space of the changing exhibition can be flexibly combined within the permanent exhibition. The volume and shape of the museum also allow large objects to be displayed.

Wizualizacja z lotu

visualization of the museum from a bird's eye view

© Lahdelma & Mahlamäki / KXM


Museum activities at Treblinka are not limited to exhibitions only. Documentation is also an important part of the museum's operation. By appropriately arranging the volumes and connecting them to the existing building, it is possible to create archival and technical space.

For the authors of the projects, the educational and conference part was equally important. The outdoor terrace can be adapted into an educational space and, what remained to be considered by the museum authorities, a cafe. The interior rooms were separated from the entrance foyer, yet easily connected to it, making it possible to hold conferences.

A chapel - a place of silence - was an important point. Symbolically, it does not refer to specific religious elevations. It was placed in the design to create a place of concentration and contemplation.

Wizualizacja wieży

visualization of the observation tower

© Lahdelma & Mahlamäki / KXM


The building's structure was designed as poured-in-place reinforced concrete. The façade would be made of oiled steel sheets. Ultimately, it would have a patina, thus achieving a new color scheme. Energy efficiency was also included in the design - taking into account the use of heat pumps and renewable energy sources.

The courtyard connects to the interior through a translucent wall of glass bricks, allowing light into the exhibition spaces. The brightness of the area would be regulated by blackout curtains if necessary.

mała architektura

small architecture

© Lahdelma & Mahlamäki / KXM

place of remembrance

The road concept proposed by studios Lahdelma & Mahlamäki and KXM seeks to address the needs of the senses. Presenting the experience of a tragedy not only through the prism of the place and the memorabilia, but through impressions that try to convey the seriousness of the place.

elaboration. Wiktor Bochenek

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