Arquitectura Viva
Monday, November 30, 2020

BBGK Architekci, Katyn Museum in Warsaw

In the southern part of the Warsaw Citadel stands the museum that commemorates the massacre of Katyn Forest, near the Russian city of Smolensk. A total of 21,768 Poles, mostly military officers, were executed by the NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, after the USSR’s invation of Poland in the spring of 1940, shortly after the end of World War II, and it was at Katyn Forest that the first corpses were discovered.

For this the local firm BBGK Architekci has refurbished the three buildings of the Polish capital’s 19th-century fort. These constructions surround a park that symbolizes the forest of Katyn. Juxtaposed with existing brick walls, new stained concrete surfaces become a means of expression in which even traces of personal belongings of the victims are imprinted here and there. The visitor route includes 12-meter-tall incisions in walls, narrow stairs, and stone pavements evoking the victims’ path to the execution spots.
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