Thursday, June 30, 2005
At a press conference in Warsaw on June 30 an international jury announced the winner of the architectural competition for a design of the building for the planned Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The winner is the Finnish architectural team of Rainer Mahlamäki and Ilmari Lahdelma, whose design was one of eleven finalists from a total of 119 submissions from all over the world, including Poland, Germany, and Israel. In a blind competition in which the anonymous entries bore numbers, the architects' Helsinki-based firm beat out better-known competitors such as Daniel Libeskind, designer of Berlin's landmark Jewish Museum, and Peter Eisenman, designer of the Berlin Holocaust memorial. Lahdelma and Mahlamäki, winners of more than 25 architectural competitions, are perhaps best known for their lyrical Finnish Forest Museum. For more information on their innovative firm, visit www.ark-l-m.fi.
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which has been making headlines in Poland, Israel, and the USA long before its groundbreaking, will be an important cultural and educational center devoted to the memory of a civilization that flourished on Polish soil for centuries before being obliterated in the Holocaust. The design for the permanent exhibit of the Museum was completed by the London-based Events Communications prior to the architectural competition and served as a basis for the architects' proposals. The narrative and multimedia Museum is scheduled to open in 2008 and over the years will take millions of visitors on an experiential tour of almost ten centuries of Jewish life in Poland. For more info visit www.jewishmuseum.org.pl.
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