MAN OF MARBLE, MAN OF IRON - GDANSK 2007
The European Solidarity Centre Gdansk, Poland
with Anupama Kundoo
A soft and steadily rising landscape emerges from the edge of the site touching the ‘road to freedom’ and progressively increases in height towards the northwest edge of the site. This sloping green roof accommodates the offices, auditorium and wintergarden underneath. The green surface of the roof continues outside the site limits, spilling over on to the ‘road to freedom’, making it an integral experience of the building.
The rising landscape breaks away from the ground precisely along the edge of the old medieval city wall. Thus the Solidarity Movement and its significance, is placed in the context of the whole of Poland’s history and its collective evolution as a nation.
The rooms for the permanent exhibition about the solidarity movement are inspired by the films about that movement by the polish director Andrzej Wajda called Man of Marble (1977) and Man of Iron (1981). They are suspended high above the green rising landscape in a ‘container’ a shining marble box that is supported by light steel frame structures which recall the skyline of the harbour city of Gdansk.