The task to plan and to construct a meeting place for adolescents from different nations all over the world in Oświęcim, was a gift and a duty for me and my colleagues; a gift, because I saw this task, that was never put on paper and certainly not formulated in form of a contract, as a sort of a challenge, a calling that I accepted; a gift, because I had the chance to implement my professional experience, political beliefs and my Christian faith into it.
- said Helmut Morlok, architect of the house, in December 1986 on the occasion of the festive inauguration of the IYMC.
The house started to exist in the consciousness of the inhabitants of the city and young visitors from all over the world as a place with an exceptional atmosphere - as a place which you like to visit and you like to return to, even after years.
Here the special architecture of the house plays an important role: brilliant in its simplicity, noble through the materials used, functional and - what many visitors state "a house with a soul".
The house designed by the German architect Helmut Morlok consist of a complex of detached, light, one-storied pavilions - open to every direction, aligned around the central part - the courtyard of meetings, the garden. It's an architecture full of nooks and places for talks in a small circle, which create an intimate atmosphere and thus stands in utter contrast to the tactic of insight into everything, practised within the fences of the camp. Here you can find a spot for meeting up and games in groups, but also for thoughtful talks or contemplation in silence.
An important role in the creation of this special atmosphere in the IYMC plays the material used by the architect - wood. A raw material which is soft, decent and perceived as pleasant, creates another contrast to the repressive looking stone or heavy concrete used in the construction of the camp in Auschwitz.