Detail showing window at the back
Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre


by Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd

The official inauguration of the Core Exhibition took place 28th of October, 2014.
First prize in an invited competition 2005. Square in plan and of the same dimensions as the reformulated precinct of the monument, this orthogonal building opens up via a dramatic plastic volume both to the precinct and the park. 

Posted 29 November 2014

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This dramatically curvaceous passage, faced in sprayed concrete, and lit from above, is characterized as a parting of the seas - Yam Suf, that is to say as a rite of passage or transcendence between the long trajectory of Polish Jewish history and a symbolically generous opening to a pacific and fertile culture. Completed in 2013. Inauguration of the Core Exhibition in 2014.
Extent Gross Area 18 300 m2, Net Floor Area 16 000 m2, Volume 123 000 m3

Finlandia Prize in Architecture 2014

Museum of History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
Photo: Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

The company

Rainer Mahlamaki
Photo Aleksi Poutanen

Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd. was founded in 1997 in Helsinki.
The partners of the company are Professor Ilmari Lahdelma, and Professor Rainer
Mahlamäki, both members of the SAFA (Finnish Architects Association).
The partners are working together since 1985, having previously worked together at
Architects Company 8Studio in Tampere and at Architects Kaira-Lahdelma-Mahlamäki, Helsinki


Our team has extensive experience in all aspects of architecture: public buildings, residential buildings, renovation projects, urban planning as well as interior architecture and furniture design. Significant part of our work has started thru architectural competitions, in which the partners have received 36 first prizes (and 59 other prizes). In year 2014: first prize in Pirkkala townhall competition, the Jyväskylä Piippuranta Housing area Ideas open competition resulted in a purchase and we are shortlisted in two international architectural competitions. In 2013: Capella Parkways Ideas Competition resulted in first price, the competition for Vantaa Aurinkokivi School gave joint 3rd price and the Campus 2015 –Helsinki University competition
the first purchase.

Sketch Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland
©Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki 


Detail showing glass cladding with Yiddish alphabet.
Photo: Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

Our main clients include the State of Finland, municipalities like Helsinki, Kotka, Espoo, Kauniainen, Vaasa, Rauma, Lohja, Oulu and Joensuu, and the universities of Tampere and Helsinki as well as parishes and private constructors. Our Polish clients are the State of Poland and the City of Warsaw.

Works, old and new
We specialise in public buildings, with design projects ranging from small-scale
kindergartens to libraries and very large cultural centres and university buildings. Many of the works have been published worldwide. The newest in this category are the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, completed in 2013 (inauguration will take place in October 2014) and the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, also completed in 2013.
See also PDF BIO>

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened its doors to the public in April 2013. It currently functions as a cultural and educational center with a rich cultural program, including temporary exhibitions, films, debates, workshops, performances, concerts, lectures and much more. The opening of the Core Exhibition, presenting the thousand-year history of Polish Jews, is scheduled for autumn of 2014.

Formally founded in 2005 by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the City of Warsaw and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Museum is an unique and unprecedented initiative, spanning many fields of research and drawing on the expertise of scholars and museum professionals from around the world. We also work with the community at large to create a vibrant place of exchange and dialogue where all have the opportunity to express their views, ask questions and grow.

Occupying around 4 000 sq m (ca. 43 000 sq ft), the Museum’s Core Exhibition will immerse visitors in the world of Polish Jews, from their arrival in Po-lin as traveling merchants in medieval times until today. The exhibition was developed by an international team of more than 120 scholars, working under the direction of Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett from New York University. It is being produced by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland thanks to the support of donors from all over the world. Each of the eight galleries will present a different chapter of the story of Polish Jews, enabling visitors to come into intimate contact with those who lived that story through images, artifacts, first-person accounts and interactive multimedia.

The Museum stands in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw – an area which the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. This significant location, coupled with the Museum’s proximity to the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, demanded extreme thoughtfulness on the part of the building’s designers, who carefully crafted a structure that has become a symbol of the new face of Warsaw. The design by the Finnish studio Lahdelma & Mahlamäki was selected in an international competition. In 2008, with the building still under construction, it received the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award (2008).

Exterior afternoon view of the museum as seen from the park located at the back.
Photo: Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

Glass wall at rear of building, a female visitors walking by
Photo: Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

More information: 
Tehtaankatu 29 a
FI-00150 Helsinki, Finland

Click here to download the file "bio_architects_Lahdelma__Mahlamki.pdf".
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