Modern, unconventional buildings are supposed to help Central European countries make their mark in Europe as a whole. Especially in Poland, each major city has tried to make a name for itself and to have a building whose form would possess the attributes of an urban icon. Municipal authorities, officials, and investors tend to overuse the catch-all term “icon”, while referring to the success of Bilbao in a rather superficial manner. An architectural competition for the design of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw incited a discussion on the iconic aspect of architecture and the appetite for a sculptural building. In accordance with its requirements, it was supposed to become a new symbol of the capital city.
A need for a “Polish Bilbao” spread to other cities, too, namely, Toruń (Centre of Contemporary Art “Znaki Czasu”), Radom (Masovian Centre of Contemporary Art “Elektrownia”), Katowice (Silesian Museum), Wrocław (Wrocław Contemporary Museum), to some extent to Krakow (Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK), and Łódź (Special Art Zone). The iconic quality of museum edifices can be observed in other Central European countries, especially Poland.
In Hungary the need for icons has become strongly apparent only in the context of investments in the Budapest Museum Quarter – the subject of an architectural competition held in 2014. Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Čunovo, Slovakia, and a preliminary architectural proposal for the Central European Forum Olomouc in the Czech Republic possess a symbolic quality. This lecture will focus on one of the hottest issues surrounding museums in Poland and Hungary – a great need for new spectacular museum buildings. Many of them have already been opened, however not all are spectacular.When
Monday, 8 December 2014, 6:30 pm
Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts Building