Gdynia, Polska Street No. 1
The headquarters of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia is located right by the sea, under the address Polska Street No. 1. It is housed in the historical building of the Marine Station, which was erected during the interwar period. Since 2014, the edifice has been the centerpiece of the city again, and the city's calling card for thousands of passengers on some of the largest ocean liners from all over the world, with moorings right here on the French Quay.
The new face of the pearl of modernism.
The present-day shape of this historical building is the result of a thorough adaptation of this treasure of modernist architecture to its new role. Owing to extensive works, the front façade has been restored, the northern wall of the building remodeled, and the interior restored. During the days of the Second Republic of Poland, it was one of the representative buildings of Gdynia, a place vibrant with life. It was, however, severely damaged during the war. It was only after 70 years that the edifice regained its classic, harmonious shape, possible thanks largely to the funding provided by the JESSICA initiative. The solutions set forward by the Arsa Design Studio, in terms of remodeling, paved the way for the restoration of the building to its former glory and to better adapt its unique location at the center of the port of Gdynia to the role of a cultural institution. Its transparent wall with a view to the sea, a spacious terrace, and its facilities for disabled people are all part of the rejuvenated face of this historical place.
This is where the journey began
Why we decided to open the first Emigration Museum in Poland right here? The Marine Station was the central hub of prewar passenger traffic. Legendary Polish ocean liners – such as M.S. Batory – were moored here. At the time of its commission in 1933, it was one of the most modern buildings of its kind in Europe. It was deeply integrated into the emerging city – it formed the main part of the extensive emigrational infrastructure aided by the Transit Warehouse (Main Departure Hall), Emigration Camp in the district of Grabówek, and quarantine hospital in Babie Doły. It was through here that hundreds of thousands of people departed from Poland before the outbreak of the war. In later years, the maritime passenger traffic was restored in a much more modest scale, while the last Polish ocean liner was decommissioned in 1988. The emerging Emigration Museum in Gdynia is one of very few institutions that speak of history in a place that was indeed connected to the subject – in a building that serviced emigrational traffic for decades.