Visualisations: designs of the KL Plaszow Museum

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Description: The Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site in Krakow. The German Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp (1942–1945) (in organization) has completed work on selected detailed and building designs created as part of the investment task “Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site”. The designs present the Grey House, the area of former KL Plaszow and the Memorial. The investment task named “Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site” is financed from funds provided by Municipality of Kraków and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
The building design created by Grupa Projektowa GPP Sp. z o.o. was used to complete detailed designs for the Memorial (author: BBC Best Building Consultants sp. z o.o.) and the area of former KL Plaszow (author: Grupa Projektowa GPP Sp. z o.o. Borysław Czarakcziew and Sławomir Kogut). A building design was also created for the Grey House (author: Biuro Projektów Piotr Wolarek).

Visualisations of these designs will be displayed on 25 January 2023 in the Podgórze Museum at 17:00 during a meeting open to all interested visitors. Boards featuring the visualisations can be viewed until the end of February 2023 in the yard of Podgórze Museum (during its opening hours). The visualisations are also displayed on the website of KL Plaszow Museum at The visualisations of designs were also presented to the media at a press conference.

The Museum – KL Plaszow Memorial Site will consist of the post-camp area, the Grey House, the Memorial. Sightseeing trails will be arranged in the former camp area and two permanent exhibitions will be displayed: in a new building (the Memorial) and in the historic Grey House.

The area of former German Nazi camp Plaszow is entered in the list of protected historic sites and occupies an area of 0.37 sq. km. It contains two Jewish cemeteries and sites of mass executions. The entire area is listed as a war cemetery. The vast post-camp area is partly forested and covered in bush vegetation, and partly maintained as meadows. The site remains open to the public, as a place for quiet tours, reflection and discovering its history.

The Grey House was occupied prior to the war by the cemetery management of the Jewish Religious Community in Kraków. In the time of operation of KL Plaszow, it contained offices of the camp management, and a prison in its basement. After the war, the building was used as an apartment block. The Grey House is now included in the area of KL Plaszow Museum, in line with the agreement made between the Jewish Religious Community in Kraków and the city authorities. Following necessary repair work and adaptation to the requirements set by the Museum, a permanent exhibition will be arranged on the ground floor and in the basement; the first floor will contain rooms designed for educational purposes, a generally accessible multimedia library and a space for contemplation. The principal role in the arrangement of the exhibition to be hosted in the Grey House is assigned to the witnesses. Their accounts will enable the visitors to meet with the emotional, personal history of camp Plaszow.

The new Memorial building located just outside the former camp will host a historical exhibition. The Memorial is designed as the main Museum building. The architects used natural terrain to design a structure embedded in an escarpment, hidden under ground, and exposed only its front facade. The building will be connected with the site by a tunnel under Swoszowicka street. The designers aim to concentrate main traffic of visitors to the memorial site at Kamieńskiego Street and relieve densely developed Jerozolimska and Heltmana Streets.

In December 2022, prizes were awarded in the contest for the arrangement of the permanent exhibition in the KL Plaszow Museum. The contest committee concluded that the best design was proposed by Koza Nostra studio from Krakow, who were awarded the first prize amounting to PLN 20 thousand. As explained by the contest committee, the authors of the winning design propose a spatially attractive arrangement that is purposefully adapted to the characteristics of both the new building, i.e. Memorial, and the historic Grey House. The artistic means of expression are aptly chosen and consistent with the exhibition theme. Limestone used in the design of both exhibition sections creates a narrative closely related to the history of KL Plaszow. It also harmonizes with the facade of Memorial building, consisting of limestone. The elements of the arrangement concept purposefully and economically combine the three sections of the commemoration project: the two parts of the permanent exhibition and the post-camp area.

In 2022, manholes in the post-camp area were secured, the roof and gutter of the Grey House were repaired to protect the building against the adverse effect of water. Construction works on the Grey House foundations were continued between August and December 2022. The project was aimed to complete vertical and horizontal moisture-control insulation. As a result, humidity in the building basement is greatly reduced. All works were monitored by building, conservatory and archaeological supervisory authorities.

The KL Plaszow Museum has obtained building permits covering the Grey House, Memorial and the post-camp area. At the turn of 2022 and 2023, a contract notice was announced for the construction of Memorial. Contract notices will be announced in 2023 for site development around the Memorial, construction works aimed to adapt the Grey House for museum purposes and site development of the former-camp area. Also the construction of Memorial and site development around the Memorial are scheduled to begin in 2023.