The Pilecki Family Museum

BDR Architekci als Architekten

The building is the first museum dedicated to the famous World War II hero Witold Pilecki and his family. It is one of the last places to commemorate him, as his family home near Lida was demolished after the war and the traces of its surroundings were obliterated. The design is a result of balancing three elements: a historic house, a new pavilion and a garden.

photo_credit Michal Czechowicz
Michal Czechowicz

House. Pilecki's wife family house, visited by our protagonist many times, is the central element of the museum. A thorough restoration and reconstruction brought back simple and elegant form of the house. Based on archival photos, all details, cornices and window frames have also been reconstructed. So as not to interfere with the external structure, wall insulation was added from the inside. The cellars were deepened and the attic was rebuilt. The entire house was dedicated to the permanent exhibition.

photo_credit Michal Czechowicz
Michal Czechowicz

Pavilion. The new building accentuates the garden by placing the house in the foreground and being separated from it with a long glass connector. The pavilion’s form refers to the basic architectural elements such as material, rhythm and the interpenetration of interior and exterior spaces. On the southern side, it is surrounded by a columned arcade. An entrance hall on the ground floor has a cafe open to the garden, a meeting room and an office. Spacious stairs connect the storey with the underground part, which hosts a technical area with a cloakroom and the first exhibition room, combined with the exhibition in the house basement. Introducing the new structure in a harmonious way was the main challenge of the design, achieved thanks to the glass connector and adjusting pavilion height to the house cornice. The new building combines elements of monumental architecture with the advantages of a light park pavilion. It is also evident in the selected materials: concrete combined with oak wood.

photo_credit Michal Czechowicz
Michal Czechowicz

Garden. Merging the historical house with the new pavilion required creating an environment combining features of a homely, small-town ornamental garden with forms corresponding to modern architecture. The regulated garden located in the front part resembles the kitchen and decorative garden preserved only in archival photos. It respects the division of crops into flowers, ornamental plants and the kitchen part with fruit and vegetables. The remaining space, framed by the garden facade of the house and the pavilion, forms an intimate interior surrounded by greenery, places to sit and a centrally located square for outdoor events. We put special emphasis on ensuring that future museum events are accompanied by an atmosphere of harmony and openness. We also suggested going outside the plot and connected one of the paths from the adjacent park with the pavilion's door.

photo_credit Michal Czechowicz
Michal Czechowicz

We wanted the garden, the renovated house and the pavilion with its bright interiors to make positive impression, devoid of a heavy museum narrative. It seems that thanks to the proposed solutions the difficult history of the Pilecki family presented at the exhibition will reverberate even stronger.


Material Used:
1. Facade cladding: Precast concrete, PSK Beton 
2. Doors: Wooden, PIUDESIGN 
3. Windows: Wooden windows, Witraz Okna 
Skylight Type G flat roof windows, FAKRO 


Skylight Type G flat roof windowsFAKRO
DoorsPIU Design
Precast concretePSK Beton
Skylight Type G flat roof windows
nach FAKRO
nach PIU Design
Precast concrete
nach PSK Beton
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