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Weronika Mach - "EL Gallery - space liberated".

01 of April '22
Technical data
Type: undergraduate thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Name: "EL Gallery - Space Unleashed".
Author: Weronika Mach
University: Faculty of Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk.

Dr. Tomasz Zmyślony

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2020/2022".

The diploma project "EL Gallery - Space Unleashed" covers the interior of EL Gallery in Elblag. I consider the most important goal to be the creation of a new space with an exhibition function in place of the existing establishment. The history of the building is extremely important to me, so the designed exhibition empora is a lightweight structure suspended from the technical platforms, not interfering with the structure of the building.

galerii EL, abakany

In the side aisle are the "Crowds"

© Weronika Mach

To emphasize the subtlety of the activities, I decided to cover the projected emporium with a material that will evoke a sense of delicacy and transience in the viewer. Referring to the intricate and fine process of weaving silkworms, I decided to use the method used in the production of the Zeppelin lamp by Flos. The material that covers the chandelier is a resin made of synthetic fibers. The delicate form resembling subtle weaving was achieved by spraying the framework.

wystawowa Empora wystawowa

An important aspect of the project is the mobility of the "display emporium"

© Weronika Mach

An important aspect of the project is the mobility of the "exhibition empora" - depending on the requirements of a given event, thanks to its suspension to a structure located in the roof zone, it can be pulled upwards so that the space of the nave can return to its original, intact form.

Rzut parteru aksonometria

project plan and axonometry

© Veronica Mach

It is important to distinguish the building between the preserved historic elements and the new ones, added after the war damage. To provide a communication link, the existing opening in the wall separating the south aisle from the administrative section was enlarged. The element connecting the spaces is a footbridge, which has not been permanently attached to the opening - it can be dismantled for the time when the emporium is raised under the roof structure.

W głównej
przestrzeni znajdują się Abakany

The main elements of the project include the staircase

© Weronika Mach

A problem for the operation of the facility is accessibility for people with disabilities. Currently, such people do not have the opportunity to move to the floor, where administrative rooms are located. The condition of inviolability of historic elements enforces the need to design the access route to the emporium for people with disabilities in such a way as to interfere as little as possible with the original structure, which is why a space for the elevator has been set aside in the part that is currently part of the toilets. Thanks to this location of the elevator shaft, transportation to three levels is ensured: underground, first floor and attic. Additional vertical communication is provided by the existing staircase. Decisions related to the location of the elevator have their consequences in the layout of the rooms in the attic - the social room will be moved to provide space for the elevator; the toilets located on the first floor will be placed in the underground.

Przekrój oraz
rzut piętra

On the first floor there are administrative rooms

© Weronika Mach

The main elements of the project also include a staircase set in the space of the aisles, which seemingly connects the gallery space to the level of the "exhibition emporium." Appearance is the important term here, as the stairs do not have a communicative function, but were used because of their rich symbolism. There is a contradiction: although their purpose is communication, for people with disabilities they are a barrier, a symbol of the limits of possibilities. The designed stairs are divided into two parts. The lower one is the form of a movable platform - a sturdy black block, which has been given mobility to change its position, and a higher one, connected to the emporium, which "levitates" suspended above their lower part. These parts, to emphasize transience, do not touch each other.


concept of "nests"

© Weronika Mach

An additional part of the project is an exhibition of works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, whose work touched on diverse matter: from monumental fabric-installations to organic, sculptural interpretations. What captivates me most is the charge of tension accompanying the exhibits, which leave the viewer with a wide range of interpretations.

Pod emporą
znajdują się „Plecy”

In the side aisle are "Backs"

© Weronika Mach

In the space of the main nave and chancel I located the Abacanas, while the side aisle was designated for the exhibition of human forms: "Crowds" located under the emporium and "Backs". Such a juxtaposition dictates the mood of the space - size, massiveness of fabrics and darkness, anxiety and a kind of sadness enclosed in the anthropological forms of the sculptures. The choice of Magdalena Abakanowicz's works was not accidental, as an important moment in her life was her participation in the 1st Biennial of Spatial Forms in Elblag in 1965.

Weronika Mach

Illustrations: © Author

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