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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Warsaw. Housing of the Saxon Palace. Costs, when, architectural competition

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The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has announced an architectural competition for the concept of the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, the Brühl Palace and tenement houses at Królewska Street. – We know that these three large properties will be occupied by the Senate of the Republic of Poland, by the Mazovian Voivodeship Office, as well as by cultural institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – said Minister Piotr Gliński.

The organizer of the competition is the Saski Palace company, and the direct operator is the Association of Polish Architects (SARP).

The investment, which raises social controversy, is to cost over PLN 2 billion.

– The crisis is quite big, but as Churchill once said, even in extreme situations, such as war, one must remember about culture, because culture is the basis of everything – said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński in an interview with a TVN24 reporter. – If it wasn’t for culture, the war would also look different, so we must equally engage public funds and invest them both when it comes to Polish defense, which is a priority, just like health protection is a priority, and investment in culture is also one of the priorities and Polish identity.

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“On the outside, the appearance of the Palace will be the same as before World War II”

Earlier, a press conference was held regarding the competition that had just been announced.

The head of the Ministry of Culture reminded that “the reconstruction will be carried out in accordance with the principles of conservation reconstruction, i.e. with the preservation of relatively authentic materials and technologies.”

– We assume that from the outside the appearance of the Palace will be the same as before World War II. However, there are many issues related to the interiors, the distribution of functional and utilitarian accents to be solved, Piotr Gliński pointed out.

He said that “based on the functional and utility program, we know that these three large properties – Saxon Palace, Brühl Palace and tenement houses on the side of Królewska Street – will be occupied by the Senate of the Republic of Poland, by the Mazovian Voivodeship Office, as well as by cultural institutions under supervision of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage specified that there will be five institutions – the National Museum in Warsaw, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the Polish History Museum, Zachęta and the “Niepodległa” Office.

They will keep the cellars

He pointed out that “the architectural concept itself is the subject of the competition”. – The competition is organized by the Saski Palace Company, established in accordance with the Act on the reconstruction of the Saski Palace, and the operator of the competition is the Association of Polish Architects. The most experienced institution that conducts this type of international competitions, said the Minister of Culture.

– I hope that the competition will go smoothly. It has already been announced on the relevant sites in the European Union. We will also publish the rules of the competition on our website – noted Gliński.

He added that one of the important assumptions of the competition is the separation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the preservation of the cellars – in accordance with the conservation recommendations.

He also informed that “archaeological work under the Brühl Palace will start soon.”

Saxon Palace after reconstruction – visualization niedlegla.gov.pl / palacsaski.pl

Hard work time

The president of Pałac Saski, Jan Edmund Kowalski, admitted that “the last few months have been a time of hard work by the team of Pałac Saski, which cooperated with teams of users, i.e. the Chancellery of the Senate, the Mazovian Voivodeship Office and five cultural institutions as part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s representation in rebuilt buildings” . – The rebuilt buildings will serve the society, they will be places willingly visited by Varsovians, but also by people coming to Warsaw on a daily basis. They will also be the places of the main representation, I am talking about the seat of the Senate of the Republic of Poland – he added.

He informed that “an architectural competition for the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, the Brühl Palace and tenement houses at Królewska Street is being prepared together with the Association of Polish Architects”. He emphasized that this is “also related to the open letter that the Association sent to President Andrzej Duda two years ago.”

Kowalski said that “the competition will be conducted in two stages”. – In the first stage, there will be a pre-selection of architectural offices that want to participate in the competition. In the second stage, specific works will be prepared. Five architectural offices will be invited to the second stage – explained the president of the company Pałac Saski.

He stated that the competition is international and all documents related to the competition will also be translated into English. – So that foreign architectural offices could easily get acquainted with these documents – said Kowalski.

He informed that “the first stage of the pre-selection will take place until the holiday season, and by mid-October the Competition Jury will have to complete its work”.

He assessed that it is “a big challenge, because the act says about the reconstruction of buildings in accordance with the state of August 1939, but on the other hand, we have a new urban fabric, new communication systems, preservation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, preservation of relics, so it is also huge challenge for architectural offices.

The requirements of the competition are set out in the Act of August 11, 2021 on the preparation and implementation of investments in the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, Brühl Palace and tenement houses at ul. Królewska in Warsaw. According to the document, the buildings are to be reconstructed according to the external architectural shape they had on the eve of the outbreak of World War II, i.e. on August 31, 1939. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully examine historical sources, in particular the preserved plans, photographs and sketches.

SASKI PALACE – Saxon Palace in Warsaw 1928 – 1939 LEAVES

Competition requirements

One of the requirements of the competition is also to recreate the garden at the Beck’s pavilion with a fence, allowing free communication with the Saxon Garden. Relics of buildings on the western frontage of pl. Pilsudski. The competition requirements assume that the historic cellars of the Saski Palace will be exposed to the public.

However, changes may occur in the space of neighboring streets. The rules of the competition allow, for example, narrowing a fragment of ul. Królewska in order to provide communication services for the reconstructed buildings by placing entrance and exit ramps located on the underground floors. The competition participant also has the opportunity to present an original solution for the communication service of the reconstructed buildings.

Main photo source: niedlegla.gov.pl / palacsaski.pl



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