The Hansens' House in Szumin
In May 2014, the house of Zofia and Oskar Hansens in Szumin will be opened to the general public.
The wooden house is located in a picturesque area of an oxbow lake of the River Bug in Mazovia; it is a spatial manifesto of the Open Form, which was the centre of Oskar Hansen's (a Polish member of Team 10) architectural work. The Open Form was first presented during the CIAM Congress in Otterlo in 1959. Its assumption was to make architecture open to its users so that they can participate in its creation and to make architecture an "perceptive background" emphasising every-day events. Being oriented at participation, process and change of hierarchy between the artist and the spectator, it has become the key premise of Hansen's architecture-related activities and an inspiring reference point for creative activities of his students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
The house, whose construction commenced in 1968, fully expressed these ideas and became one of very few Hansens' works that were made in accordance with their vision, without any limitations imposed by the socialist construction industry. Spaciotemporal architecture, being easy to adapt to changeable needs of its users, seamlessly blended the interior with the exterior and contained an element of change. Constructed as a framework of life, it comes to life with the presence of people. The unique atmosphere of the house stems from traces of activities and passion of its inhabitants, such as didactic instruments used for learning the fundamentals of composition, a steel structure from a biennale in Venice that took place in 1977 covered in grapevine and a wooden dovecote, which, as Zofia Hansen claimed, was the perfect work of her husband.
Since 2014, the house has been under the care of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In May, it will be open for visitors during trips organised by the Museum. At the same time, a book about the architecture of the house with superb pictures by Jan Smaga (courtesy Foksal Gallery Foundation) and essays by Filip Springer and Aleksandra Kędziorek will be published.
• The house is open for small groups of visitors (a maximum of 16 persons per group). However, due to issues of conservation, no more than 9 people are allowed inside the house at any given time.
• The tours are free of charge, but anyone willing to participate must register by filling out the form available on the Museum’s webpage. Applications are processed in the order they are received.
• The application form is posted on the Museum’s website one week before the event. Only one person can register at a time, by providing full contact information (telephone no., and e-mail address). Registering multiple persons in a single form will result in its cancellation.
• Registration is confirmed via e-mail by the Museum’s employees. All those on the reserve list will be notified about any openings.
• The trip lasts for 7 hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum provides transportation from and back to Warsaw, a guided tour, NWW (accident insurance), and warm beverages.
• The tour is held in Polish. Translation into English or the Polish Sign Language available if needed. Please request a translation into these languages after receiving a booking confirmation of your place on the tour.