White’s proposal was a building that respects its context and adds to it. By keeping the facades in line with the city plan the qualities of the streetscape and the square can be maintained and extended. To this we add a building which is fragmented on the inside, with overlaying triangular volumes hovering around a central courtyard with canyon-like cracks extending to the building perimeter. The cracks are lined toward dominant landmarks in the surrounding cityscape. This way the city of Warsaw is always present from the inside of the museum.
The connection works the same from the outside, where the large cracks enables views from the outside right to the heart of the museum. The museum is organised around a central full height atrium, which is also the main lobby at ground floor level. The atrium is present in the entire museum, enabling a good orientation during visits. At ground floor level the atrium opens itself through glazed spaces such as library, shop etc, creating a transparent gallerylike landscape.
The overall geometry of the museum generates a variety of exhibition spaces, from small rooms for unpretentious exhibitions to very large halls for sculpture installations and performances. The irregular triangular geometry corresponds to the intellectual and artistic freedom of the contemporary art scene and its unwillingness to conform to rules and regulations.