An underground museum in Poland has won the title World Building of the Year 2016 at the World Architecture Festival.
The National Museum in Szczecin was designed by Polish architect Robert Konieczny, who leads a studio called KWK Promes and includes a large public space on its roof.
The structure was built using one material: pre-cast concrete. Its sunken form ensures it doesn’t block views of the neighbouring Philharmonic Hall –building that won the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2015.
The judging panel, chaired by architect David Chipperfield, said the project “enriches the city and the life of the city”.
“This is a piece of topography as well as a museum,” they said. “To go underground is to explore the memory and archaeology of the city, while above ground the public face of the building, including its undulating roof, and be interpreted and used in a variety of ways.”
“This is a design which addresses the past in an optimistic, poetic and imaginative way.”
The World Architecture Festival awards aim to showcase the best architecture of the last 12 months.