Studio\
Woodroffe\Papa\

Reconversion of former “Hotel Cracovia” into a Museum of Design and Architecture

The new branch of the National Museum in Krakow is a celebration of both the past and the future, where creative minds come together. Housed in the former “Cracovia” hotel, a relic of Polish modernist architecture, this building will showcase the architectural and design ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries. But it’s more than just a museum; it’s a versatile space that also serves as a cutting-edge research and preservation facility, a social hub, and a thriving center for the creative industries.

The project takes on the ambitious challange of transforming the inttrovert hotel into an extrovert civic building. Retaining as much as possible, transformign when the new project demands it, ultimately becoming an example in itself of how to build upon our past to nurture fresh ideas.

The new museum isn’t just about showcasing; it’s about connecting people and communities. It forms a vibrant urban axis that weaves the National Museum, a nearby park, a brand-new urban garden, the Kiev Cinema, and extends up to the canal. This clever spatial configuration allows for a blend of museum activities and open spaces, all available for the modern infrastructure, scientific research, and new enterprises.

By recovering as much as possible, we are able to extend the program. The extra space, which is not suitable for large exhibitions or gatherings of public, is rethought as a facility for artists and creatives to re-inhabit the hotel. A new kind of residence linked to the creative industries. This shifts the focus from being a static exhibition space to a dynamic, living institution.

The new ramping system isn’t just about guaranteeing full accessibility; it’s also about connecting the interior promenade to the larger urban network. In line with the “New European Bauhaus” initiative, the design emphasizes making spaces more human-friendly, guided by the values of beauty, sustainable development, and community.

In essence, the project’s overarching goal is to breathe new life into a culturally significant building, harnessing modern construction technologies. It retains the charm of the old, reducing its carbon footprint while introducing cutting-edge technologies to ensure efficient preservation, social interaction, energy efficiency and generation. This project is a testament to innovation and a bright future rooted in the rich history of Krakow.

Hotel Cracovia
PL, Krakow

Reconversion of former “Hotel Cracovia” into a Museum of Design and Architecture