Museum of Modern Art Pavilion
Warsaw (Poland)

FRPO was kindly invited by the Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw to participate in a competiton to design a promotional pavilion for the institution. The other contenders were Olafur Eliasson, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Medusa Group, KWK Promes, Centrala Grupa and Tobias Putrih.


What makes art interesting for the people of a city?How should a pavilion operate in the city public realm?How does time affect to its presence and relationships?


The MMA Pavilion should be able to give a clear answer to these questions, expressing its engagement ability between the institution and the citizens through art diffusion and time exchanges, generating a precise urban, architectonic and artistic contemporary interface, providing interaction spaces rather than building them.


If art production is not seen anymore as an individual act, but it is increasingly considered as a collective event, where interaction is central to the actual meaning of the single work of art (Tate Modern Turbine Hall’s success is probably the proof of it), then classic “viewers” should therefore be now thought of as actors or participants. They require a flexible open place to gather, a forest better than a house.


Information exchange between people involved on both sides of art events is a key issue to understand the relationships among politics, institutions, citizens and contemporary art scenes. Involving the visitants of the pavilion in the process of its transformation through time may enhance its necessary engagement and promotional success. Thus, the MMA presents itself as an open institution, where citizens become actors that interchange experience with authors and curators through contributions to the changes of image, density and perception of the space around the events container: the pavilion happens to be an understanding of related spheres where co-production and interaction generate a complete experience.


The time lapse until the inauguration of the new museum is used to establish a relationship strategy with the city. Waiting time becomes thus an ally to the interest of the institution, as makes possible the accumulation of a huge amount of useful info from the participants.


If we use the power of interaction to actually transform the physical reality, we would have reached a much wider vision of the information society tools. The pavilion would have therefore an educational function in which not only planned activities bring content to the events, but also the physical interaction with the architecture is filled with meaning.


Let’s give more than an art box to the city, let’s extend the pavilion experience to the public realm in which it settles, let’s provide the approaching urban experience with an intense collaborative, exchange sphere beyond the pavilion itself: the forest as a metaphor of the meeting place, wandering space, information exchange prior to the programmed events.


The perception of approaching the pavilion is provided as a variable density experience through a sequence of relation spaces. The info forest allows individual contributions to the pavilion activities to happen, collective participation becomes part of the scheduled transformations of architecture throughout a precise time lapse. Thus, thoughts or drawings or links or messages shape the public sphere around the pavilion itself, modifying scale and perception and, what is more interesting, the continuity of relationships between the active citizens and the hosting institution. A clear, categorical and self-referential containing volume is proposed to host the inner activities of the MMA within the pavilion purposes. As a translucent house-like enclosure, this temporary art box would provide a neutral space for any kind of use required.


How to get people involved in the process of making a new museum? Let them transform it, let them gather around.


Within the forest, one should be able to recognize own contributions to the history and variations of the pavilion, to show it to friends or just to let messages, drawings, thoughts, be taken by anyone else.


It is intended to take profit of the time schedule of the pavilion and its mobility around several central locations in Poland, in order to get a slight variation of the image and the approaching scale to the place through, as explained, the interaction between the citizens and the institution. The info forest components, timber paddle-like masts, are thought as support for the exchange of thoughts, drawings or messages. This kind of simple and low-tech interaction, as basic as engraving love statements on a tree in the middle of a forest, allows a high level of interaction, that of primary hand writing.


Simple and suitable solutions are in the basis of the assembling process, so that every element is related to a single material, an individual industrial process and a particular recycling philosophy in the long-term scenario.