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According to legend, when Andrzej Wajda received a prize from the Inamori Foundation and promised that he would spend this prize on a new house of the Far East art collection, Arata Isozaki, the architect, declared that he would prepare the design of the future centre and donate it as a gift. And so it happened.

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According to legend, when Andrzej Wajda received a prize from the Inamori Foundation and promised that he would spend this prize on a new house of the Far East art collection, Arata Isozaki, the architect, declared that he would prepare the design of the future centre and donate it as a gift. And so it happened.
Whenever an architect starts preparing a new building design, he visits the place where the building is to be located, and then draws many creative sketches. On the Manggha Museum website, one can see two such drawings, created on yellow carbon paper by Arata Isozaki.
One of them presents the eastern elevation of the building along with its distinctive roof, the shape of which was the result of joint efforts of Isozaki and Wajda. When asked about the inspiration for his work, the architect said: Definitely, it was Hokusai and his wave, as well as the shape of Mount Fuji; which is both a curve in itself, as well as a geometrical principles of location finally transformed into this form*.
The second drawing is a view from the Grunwald Bridge of both the Manggha Centre and Wawel, looking at each other. While analysing this second drawing, Andrzej Wajda wrote to Isozaki in 1991:
Both the structure of the whole building, hugging the river bank, and the contrast with this building’s shape to the Royal Castle on the other side of the Vistula, conjured an image of a beautiful and intensely natural object.
The very sophisticated structure will be very visible from the Wawel terrace. And Wawel itself will be visible – from the terrace and exhibition halls. A truly brilliant solution!**.
Usually, once the design works have ended, such creative sketches disappear in the mists of time. This makes these two preserved sketches in the Manggha Museum even more unique. They allow us to take a look over the architect's shoulder during a unique moment of creation.

Elaborated by Aleksandra Görlich (The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

Sources:
*Marta A. Urbańska, Rozmowa z Aratą Isozakim [in:] Manggha. Historia projektu, Muzeum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha, Kraków 2009, p. 33;
**List Andrzeja Wajdy do Araty Isozakiego [in:] Manggha. Historia projektu, Muzeum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha, Kraków 2009, p. 15.

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Two creative sketches of the Manggha building by Arata Isozaki

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