The 82nd Birthday of the Marine Station

On 8 December 2015 the Marine Station, seat of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, will celebrate its 82nd birthday. To mark the occasion, at 19.00 the historic building in 1 Polska Street will hold concerts by Resina (Karolina Rec), one of the most talented cellists of the alternative scene, and Stefan Wesołowski, a Gdańsk composer who skilfully combines classical and modern music. The atmosphere of the evening will be highlighted by a birthday light installation. On the day, anyone born on 8 December will be able to visit the exhibition for free.

The Marine Station was opened on 8 December 1933 in the heart of the port of Gdynia and for years served as the main point on the map of Polish passenger traffic. It was here that the legendary Polish transatlantic liners moored, with the M/S Batory at the forefront. Before the outbreak of the war this was where thousands of people would leave the country. The year 2015 marks the 82nd anniversary of the opening of the Marine Station, which, having undergone general refurbishment, has now regained its former pre-war lustre. In May this modernist pearl of Gdynia architecture became the seat of the Emigration Museum.

To mark the occasion, we would like to invite all history and architecture enthusiasts to join us on 8 December in celebrating the Marine Station’s 82nd birthday. Between 12.00-18.00 those who also celebrate their birthday that day will be able to visit the permanent exhibition for free. All you need to do is show your ID at the ticket office and collect your free ticket.

The birthday in the heart of the port will be illuminated by evening concerts by cellist Resina (Karolina Rec) and Stefan Wesołowski, who has prepared a piece specially for the occasion. The performances will be accompanied by visualisations by Oskar Zamek-Gliszczyński and Mateusz Jarmulski, as well as by a birthday light installation inside the building. The concerts will start at 19.00, admission 10 zl. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum’s ticket office from 1 December or before the concert subject to availability.

Concerts| start: 19.00 |admission: 10 zl
– Resina (visualisation: Mateusz Jarmulski)
– Stefan Wesołowski (visualisation: Oskar Zamek-Gliszczyński)

Birthday light installation inside the building | from 12.00

Free visit to the exhibition by patrons born on 8 December | 12.00 – 18.00

Stefan Wesołowski

Composer, violinist, producer connected with the American record label Important Records (Coil, Merzbow, Jozef Van Wissem, Eliane Radigue) and the British label Mute Song (Nick Cave, Swans, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson). For a number of years he worked closely with Jacaszek, performing the instrumental parts on his albums (Treny, Miasmah/Gusstaff 2008, Pentral, Gusstaff 2009) and co-creating film music (Golgota Wrocławska, Sala Samobójców). He has recorded with Szymon Kaliski (wesołowski/kaliski: 281011, Few Quiet People 2012), Wojciech, Bartek and Piotr Waglewski (songs Bóg and Syn on the album Waglewski Fisz Emade: Matka, Syn, Bóg, ART2/Agora 2013). Stefan Wesołowski is also the author of music for numerous theatre productions (Maria Stuart dir. Adam Nalepa, Wybrzeże Theatre, Gdańsk, 2014), artistic installations and films. This year saw the re-release of his debut album Kompleta on the French label Ici, d’ailleurs.

The concert at the Emigration Museum will combine material from the album Liebestod with music written for a documentary about Marlon Brando, Listen To Me Marlon (produced on commission from Showtime, the documentary premiered during this year’s Sundance Festival) and a piece prepared specially for the occasion. Five people will appear on stage: apart from me doing the electronics and playing the violin there will also be a harp, a tuba, a trombone and a cello. I would like to take advantage of the specific acoustics of the Museum hall to create a piece aesthetically coherent with the architecture of the interiors, promises Stefan Wesołowski.

Resina (Karolina Rec)

Exceptionally gifted cellist and composer. On the alternative music scene for 8 years. Member of bands such as Kings of Caramel, Cieślak i Księżniczki, Nathalie and The Loners, Anthony Chorale or Michał Biela’s band, nominated for the Polityka Passports Award. Co-writer of numerous record publications and music for a dozen or so theatre productions (including the wonderfully received Pinokio at the Nowy Theatre). She has also worked with Girls Against Boys, Paul Brody, Piotr Kurek, Ścianka or Coldair. Karolina’s performance is characterised mainly by a personal language of improvisation and an alternative approach to melody. Her solo work Resina is due out soon, the outcome of experiments combining the cello and simple electronic tools. The result is at times almost song, at other times ‒ more complex intuitive impressions, with the desire to discover and employ the less obvious properties of the instrument serving as a link between all the compositions.

The Marine Station

The seat of the Emigration Museum, the historic Marine Station built in the interwar period, is located right by the sea at 1 Polska Street. Since 2014 the building has yet again become the city’s pride and a showpiece for thousands of passengers of the largest cruise ships from all over the world which moor right here, at the French Wharf every year.

The historic building’s present form is the result of this treasure of modernist architecture being adapted for its new role. Following extensive work, the façade of the building has been given a facelift, the north wall has been restructured and the interior thoroughly redecorated. During the Second Polish Republic, it was one of Gdynia’s most landmark edifices and a place teeming with life, but it suffered serious damage during the war.It wasn’t until 70 years later that the building regained its classic harmonious shape, largely due to the JESSICA Fund. The conversion solutions suggested by the Arsa architecture studio have helped the building regain its former lustre while allowing better use of the location, which is ideal for a cultural institution right in the heart of the port. A glass wall with a view of the sea, a large terrace and disabled facilities are all just a fraction of this historic place’s younger image.

Why was it that we opened Poland’s first Emigration Museum here? Because it was here at the Marine Station that the focal point of pre-war passenger traffic was located. Here the legendary Polish transatlantic liners moored, with the MS Batory at the forefront. When in 1933 the Station came into operation, it was one of the most modern buildings of its kind in Europe. It had become firmly embedded into the emerging city and served as the main section of the extensive emigration infrastructure which also comprised the Transit Warehouse and the Passenger Departure Hall, as well as the Emigration Camp in the district of Grabówek and the quarantine hospital in Babie Doły. Before the outbreak of the war, this was the route thousands of people took out of Poland. In later years, passenger ocean traffic was revived but in a much more modest form and in 1988 the last Polish transatlantic was withdrawn from service. The Emigration Museum in Gdynia created on the site is one of few institutions to relate history in a place actually connected with its subject, a building which for decades served to process emigration traffic.


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