Warbud News

What is happening now on the construction site of Museum of Modern Art?

The structure of the new seat of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, which is being built at Marszałkowska Street, is heading towards the height of 26 metres. Results of reinforced concrete works, which are currently executed by almost 120 employees, are now clearly visible. The site has been changing dynamically. Although when you look from the outside, the shape of the building seems simple - it is one of the most technically demanding buildings in Poland’s capital city. Not only the whiteness of the structural elements made of architectural concrete is unusual, but also the method chosen to meet the requirements as to the final quality of the elements.

‘Precision, patience, innovative thought - this is how I would describe what accompanies us every day on the construction site,’ says Sylwester Koc, Reinforced Concrete Works manager at Warbud SA. ‘There are plenty of intriguing engineering solutions here, from hiding steel beams in the floors to obtain a 30 m span with no support, to the façade implemented to strict quality and technological requirements. The largest elements of steel beams installed in the floors and finally covered with architectural concrete weighed up to 29 tons. In a facility full of installations built directly into the structure, so that they are invisible to the eye in the future - it is a real challenge to coordinate the various building services.

‘We are approaching the closure of the building shell and the completion of the process of lowering the monolithic sections of the lower facade on the western side of the building,’ says Mr. Koc. ‘It's a spectacular operation. Our task is to lower the bottom facade by 5.5 cm. This may seem not much, but to give you a complete picture I may stay that the northern section is 40 metres wide, 9.6 metres high and has a surface area of about 380 square metres - it weighs nearly 300 tons. We operate according to a carefully prepared instruction. The entire process requires extremely careful supervision.’ For technical reasons, work on the upper façade segments may only start after the lower façade has been lowered to the elevation of its final support. ‘After the elements are made and lowered, as with the lower facade part, we will have to make suspended reinforced concrete ceilings, also made of architectural concrete. From the perspective of the execution methods, it is an interesting aspect of the works. It’s a kind of an engineering inversion - we will lower the facade but pull up the ceilings made under the floor slab in formwork,’ explains Mr. Koc.

Inside the building we can see the emerging shaped of corridors, rib and beam ceilings and the main lobby, as well as entrance portals with descriptions of gallery halls embedded in concrete, which today present their final, minimalist form. The stairs with a sophisticated geometry, which are situated in the pivotal point of the building, will illuminated with daylight coming from the roof skylights. ‘The ribbed structure of the four above-ground storeys of the Museum is ready,’ underlines the Works Manager. ‘We are now focusing on work on the extremely complicated roof. We are about to start installation of skylight substructures.’ They will bring light into the space of the future galleries in a way similar to the openings in the façade.

Watch a video from the construction site!

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