Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw / Oskar Hansen
Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie


The project launched by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in collaboration with the Bergen School of Architecture and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona is dedicated to the oeuvre of Oskar Hansen, an outstanding Norwegian-born architect, artist, theorist and educator, affiliated with Team 10 and Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. His influential theory of Open Form negated the hierarchy between the architect and the user, and postulated to treated architecture as a ‘passe-partout’ for everyday life, open for changes and user’s individual expression. The theory, taught by Hansen in Warsaw and by his student, Svein Hatløy, in Bergen, became an inspiring reference point for a few generations of Polish artists and Norwegian architects.


Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw released four books dedicated to the oeuvre of the Hansens: Leaven. On Zofia and Oskar Hansens by Filip Springer (together with Karakter Publishers, 2013), Oskar Hansen – Opening Modernism. On Open Form Architecture, Art and Didactics edited by Aleksandra Kędziorek and Łukasz Ronduda (2014), Team 10 East. Revisionist Architecture in Real Existing Modernism edited by Łukasz Stanek (2014) and House as Open Form. Hansens’ Summer Residence in Szumin (together with Karakter Publishers, 2014).


OSKAR HANSEN – OPENING MODERNISM, which took place on June 5-7, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, was the first international conference devoted to the oeuvre of Oskar Hansen.

Gathering outstanding researchers in art and architecture history, the conference provided a platform to investigate anew selected aspects of Hansen’s practice – position it among the work of other Central-Eastern European architects connected with Team 10; discuss designs that merge architecture and the media; and last but not least, depart from investigations into his teaching activity at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts in order to enquire if a Hansen’s tradition exists in visual arts. The conference was accompanied by research workshops TEAM 10 EAST (July 8, 2013).

Symposium HOUSES OF ARCHITECTS – LABORATORIES OF IDEAS (November 21-22, 2013), focused on the Hansen House in Szumin, the Wittgenstein House in Vienna, the Schindler House and the Eames House in Los Angeles, attempted to reveal the specificity of the residences built by architects for themselves and was a preparatory event before the opening of the Hansens’ house 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 architectural work. 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 Hansens’ house in Szumin is the only Polish member of the Iconic Houses Network. Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of the Hansen family, in May 2014 it was opened to the general public and is possible to visit during trips organized by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

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Exhibition at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

The exhibition dedicated to the practice of Oskar Hansen, architect, urban planner, theorist and pedagogue, affiliated with Team 10 and Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, traces the evolution of Hansen's theory of Open Form from its origin in his own architectural projects to its application in film, visual games and performative practices by other artists.

The exhibition released by The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) opens the series of exhibitions showcasing the artist's work abroad. The next opening of the exhibition will take place in Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves in in 2015.

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Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie

Project is supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA grants and co-financed by the Polish funds.

Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie