NArchitekTURA honors renaissance art with chapel-like space
Bartosz Haduch from NArchitekTURA reveals his chapel-like design for a permanent exhibition in Poland featuring the Lanckoroński Collection. Displayed on the first floor of Wawel Royal Castle, overlooking the historic Old Town of Krakow, the art space features the works of Renaissance artists such as Paolo Uccello, Bartholomaeus Bruyn the Elder, and Barend Graat. It combines contemporary forms, technologies, and materials with historical references to the layout of the Wawel Cathedral, where Renaissance and Baroque chapels sat around the main nave and ambulatory.
‘The new architecture of the exhibition was originally intended to resemble a contemporary quasi-sacred space, blended surprisingly with an enfilade sequence of rooms. Like the nearby cathedral, this new ‘chapel’ was to adjoin the already defined interior and the main visiting route, constituting an autonomous form and continuing the tradition of layering various styles and architectural forms at Wawel,’ explains Haduch.
images © Anna Stankiewicz, Dariusz Błażewski
fluid geometries + materials recalling exhibited paintings
A vaulted arc defines the character of the exhibition hall, where similar fluid geometries reign. Complementing it at the bottom is a bent plywood ribbon acting as a balustrade, a carrier of individual painting descriptions; it also hides technical devices and spot lighting. The uneven inclination of its upper surface gives the illusion of perspective distortion. ‘This can be read as a reference to the work of Uccello, who in many of his works experimented with combining several one- and two-run shots,’ he adds.
Haduch from NArchitekTURA also placed small, portable round mirrors above the descriptions, serving as additional references to optical illusions in Uccello’s Renaissance works. Specifically, they reflect fragments of paintings and the historic coffered ceiling in the exhibition hall.
Behind the liquid form of the chapel-shaped plywood is a curved wall finished with copper panels. ‘This is where the famous paintings borrowed for the exhibition from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery in London, and the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill are hung,’ notes the architect.
The shape of this copper wall was extracted from Bartholomaeus Bruyn the Elder’s painting – ‘Portrait of a Girl.’ The recessed form also evokes the mysterious interior of the cave illustrated in Paolo Uccello’s centrally suspended ‘Saint George and the Dragon.’ The subdued colors of the new arrangement are, in turn, a nod to the third work, titled ‘Company in a Garden’ by Barend Graat.
Three religious paintings complement the display from the Lanckoroński collection, presented as part of the permanent exhibition in various rooms around the arcaded courtyard of the castle.
evoking a contemporary quasi-sacred space
the display is complemented by three religious paintings from the Lanckoroński collection
a copper sheet design recalling many of the churches in the Old Town of Krakow
fluid forms encourage viewers to get closer to the individual paintings
name: Lanckoroński Collection
location: Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków, Poland
exhibition design: NArchitekTURA / Bartosz Haduch,Łukasz Marjański
curator: Joanna Winiewicz-Wolska
coordination: Joanna Kazubowska
visual identification: Józefina Wiśniewska
photography: Anna Stankiewicz, Dariusz Błażewski
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edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom