Polish History Museum in Warsaw Citadel - construction begins

On 30 May 2018, at the Republic Palace in Warsaw, the Polish History Museum and Budimex S.A., Signed an agreement regarding the construction of the permanent PHM seat. Participating in this ceremony were: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Prof.  Piotr Gliński, Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin and deputy chief of the Ministry of National Defence Wojciech Skurkiewicz.

“This is indeed an important moment - the Museum is probably the largest Polish investment in culture, perhaps the largest ever, probably comparable with the construction of the Grand Theater - the National Opera in Warsaw; it is an institution we had waited for many year and which is inalienable, which is simply fundamental for Poland.”  “Without such institutions we are, so to speak, orphaned as a national, cultural and political community.  Each nation must have its own history museum” - emphasized Minister of Culture, Piotr Gliński.

The Director of the Polish History Museum, Robert Kostro, added that agreement is a ‘historical event’, which makes it possible to start the construction of the museum.  

“I am very happy and proud that it is our generation is another one that creates grand, magnificent buildings, and which will wish to pass on its own heritage, our thought, the memory of our historical experience to the next generations, in a free, independent Polish Republic, stressed Kostro.  

President Budimex Management Board,  Dariusz Blocher said that “he is very happy” that his company succeeded in obtaining ‘this big, important, and prestigious contract’. He added that they have 990 days to complete it.


Budimex’s offer was selected by the Polish History Museum in an open tender as the most advantageous among the three submitted. The permanent seat of the Polish History Museum was designed by the architectural bureau, WXCA.

The area of the PHM will be around 44,000 square meters, including 8,000 sq. m for storerooms and conservation workshops of the Polish Army Museum.

The Museum will be located on the grounds of the Warsaw Citadel (‘Independence Park’). The Museum will neighbor with the X Pavilion Museum, the Katyń Museum, and the Polish Army Museum.

The area of over 30 hectares will have a recreation area for the residents. The central part of the complex will occupy the Guards’ Square. A two-level parking lot for the employees and the visitors has been designed as well; there are also parking places for buses. The new museums occupy the area around the central square: on the northern and the southern side there are two pavilions of the Polish Army Museum, while in the center from the eastern side the large building of the the Polish History Museum will be located.

Basic information:  
Precise name of the building POLISH HISTORY MUSEUM
ADDRESS: Dymińska 13, Warsaw Citadel, Żoliborz, Warsaw

Technical specification:
•    floor area: 44,700 sq. m.  (including 8,000 sq. m for the storerooms and conservation workshops of the Polish Army Museum)  
•    number of overground floors - 4; underground floors - 2.
•    number of underground parking spaces:  322,697 as part of the total for all the museums
•    permanent exhibition area - 7,000 sq. m
•    temporary exhibition area - 1,500 sq. m  
•    auditorium: around 600 people  
•    cinema: around 150 people

The architecture of the PHM building is a purposely constructed narration,  written in stone and in contemporary form, it is a narration of the layers of history building up one on the other, of discovery, of uncovering the various meanings of the past, of openness and freedom ? the Museum’s motto. In its visual expression, the stone solid refers to the various consecutive layers that constitute history. In the consecutive layers, as if in an archaeological cross-section we do notice the traces of human action, of historical events, of different eras.  The individual form (‘personality’) of each slab, their formation, composition, ornamental transformations make up an intricate tissue that expresses both the individual and the collective dimension of history, the overlapping of the natural and cultural processes, the formation and the eradication of memory.  This recording of time in history continues.  

The spatial openings of the ‘temporal lump’ on the exhibition level and at the ground level, are continued as a network of interconnected spaces within; they materialize the idea of openness, of the Museums friendliness, the process of discovery, the multidimensional view of history, the freedom of choice of the path of cognition, of the formation of one’s own narration The glass openings in the building's façades will also serve as a way to communicate in the neighborhood of the current activities that fill the different parts of the Museum. One of the most important instrument of forming the atmosphere within the Museum is light, both the natural light that pours in by the openings in the building's surface and the artificial lighting inside.

The Polish History Museum will be one of the most advanced currently under construction in Poland and in Europe; we expect at least 500,000 visitors a year.  The Museum will also become a place of a multidimensional contact with Polish history, of reflection, learning, contact with culture, and a center of social life.  Apart from the exhibition spaces, the Museum will also offer rooms for education, workshops, auditoriums, screening, catering, conservation workshops and museum storerooms.

Architects: WXCA Ltd.

Construction, sanitary, electrical, and tele-technical; fittings WSP

Landscape architecture design: RS Architektura Krajobrazu

Architectural design 2016-2017 r.

General contractor: Budimex

Planned construction: 2018-2021


Photo: PHM/Mariusz Bodnar