Royal Łazienki awarded with "Accessibility Leader" prize
The Royal Łazienki has received a prize in the "Accessibility Leader" contest for the adaptation of the Old Orangery to the needs of people with disabilities. The official awarding ceremony took place on 27 April 2017 in the Presidential Palace.
"Accessibility Leader" is an architecture and urban planning contest organized by the Integracja Foundation and the Society of Polish Town Planners, under the honorary patronage of the President of Poland. It promotes best urban and architectural solutions which cater to the needs of people with disabilities and the growing number of seniors.
In this year’s – second edition – of the contest, the Royal Łazienki Museum has received an award in the historical building without barriers category – for the Old Orangery with the Royal Theatre and the Moulding Shop. The Director of the Royal Łazienki Museum, Professor Zbigniew Wawer, accepted the award from Andrzej Duda, the President of the Republic of Poland, during an official reception in the Presidential Palace.
– As I am congratulating the prize winners, I want to say first and foremost that the prizes are a testimony to your greatness. (...) You have seen important problems which are invisible to others, such as a high doorstep. You fight against discrimination in everyday life, and for this I wish to give you my greatest thanks – President Duda emphasized during the "Accessibility Leader" award ceremony.
On his reception of the award, Professor Zbignier Wawer expressed his gratitude to the Royal Łazienki staff for their great commitment to the execution of the project of adapting the Old Orangery to the needs of people with disabilities.
– This prize is very important to us as it will allow us to promote the implemented solutions and good, universal design models for historical interiors, exhibitions and educational expositions. We would like the Old Orangery to become a space where experiences can be exchanged with other museums and cultural institutions, in order to support the development of modern museum institutions in Poland and Europe – added Olga Michalik, Royal Łazienki Accessibility Coordinator.
In the Old Orangery, during the renovation carried out in the years 2012-2016, architectural barriers were removed. Funds obtained from Norway Grants allowed to implement innovative solutions in the historical interiors, while following conservation guidelines. This led to the creation of a friendly museum space, where disabled persons are able to easily examine exhibits from the Royal Sculpture Gallery and participate in educational classes. They can enjoy now plaster and epoxy resin casts, which can be examined by touch, tactile copies of sculptures from the Royal Sculpture Gallery, a three-dimensional model of the Old Orangery, audio descriptions of sculptures from the Royal Sculpture Gallery and the Polish Sculpture Gallery as well as films narrated in Polish Sign Language.
The Royal Sculpture Gallery and the Moulding Shop are the first historical museum spaces equipped with induction loops for the hearing impaired. Visitors with special needs are also able to use an elevator located in the west wing connecting all floors, a ramp leading to the building, special toilets and a call system. A free mobile application is also available to use in the Old Orangery.