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Warsaw. Reconstruction of the Saski Palace. SARP architects concerned about the “express mode”

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The Association of Polish Architects in a letter addressed to the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, expressed its concern about the planned reconstruction of the Saski Palace. He points out that the express procedure for the implementation of this investment involves the omission of many important procedures, which – in their opinion – may lead to the creation of objects of “questionable architectural quality”.

Last Sunday President Andrzej Duda signed the law on the reconstruction of the Saski Palace, Brühl Palace and tenement houses at Królewska Street in Warsaw. “The truth is that this reconstruction should have happened a long time ago,” said the president. The act is to enter into force 14 days after its announcement.

The Main Board of the Association of Polish Architects and the Board of the Warsaw Branch of the Association of Polish Architects expressed their concern about the planned investment. They sent a letter to President Duda on this matter. “We are afraid that the express procedure of this investment, assuming the omission of many important procedures, including detailed conservation arrangements, may lead to the creation of objects of dubious architectural quality, which will not be of historical value, and will not meet the contemporary needs and expectations in their standard. “- we read in the architects’ letter.

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This is what the Saski Palace can look like after its reconstruction (visualization)TVN24

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SARP: the necessary solution should be the announcement of an architectural competition

They point out that for many decades there has been a social discussion on the development of Piłsudski Square and it has not yet been completed: “Living in a time of serious reevaluation of building and sustainable development, as a society, we begin to perceive large public investments differently. based on a substantive discussion, in the circumstances of social participation, taking into account the guidelines of local authorities “.

Architects note that an architectural competition should be announced. “In the case of such an important space as Piłsudski Square, the necessary solution should be the announcement of an architectural competition allowing for various solutions, and not only a strict reconstruction. took place in Poland in recent years “- they conclude.

The letter was signed by Marta Sękulska-Wrońska, president of the Warsaw branch of SARP, and Grzegorz Stiasny, vice-president of SARP for creativity.

Remnants of the Saski Palace – the Tomb of the Unknown SoldierArchive of TVN24

It was rebuilt many times, it was destroyed in 1944

The act on the preparation and implementation of investments related to the reconstruction of the Saski Palace, Brühl Palace and tenement houses at Królewska Street is an initiative of the president. Andrzej Duda announced it on November 11, 2018 – on the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence – as “Declaration on the restoration of the Saski Palace in Warsaw to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Poland”.

The reconstruction of the Saski Palace – as the president argued on July 7 during the ceremony of handing over the bill on this matter to the Marshal of the Sejm, Elżbieta Witek – is a huge work of a symbolic nature and an investment beyond divisions. He also recalled that the reconstruction of the palace was a continuation of the activities initiated in 2004 by the then president of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński.

The Saski Palace is intended to become a space for institutions and cultural initiatives. The act states, inter alia, that “the facilities created as a result of the investment will be allocated to the needs of the Senate Office and the Mazowieckie Voivodship Office in Warsaw and to the needs of other entities conducting cultural, educational or socially useful activities intended for this activity”.

The State Treasury will be the investor in the project within the meaning of the Act of 7 July 1994 – Construction Law. In order to ensure the preparation and implementation of reconstruction investments, the State Treasury creates a special purpose vehicle.

The Saxon Palace, which was erected as a result of the expansion of the 17th-century palace of Jan Andrzej Morsztyn, was rebuilt many times in the following centuries. During the Second Polish Republic, it was the seat of the General Staff of the Polish Army, and the neighboring Brühl Palace was the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the destruction of the Saxon Palace by the Germans at the end of December 1944, the only traces of it remained a fragment of the three central arcades with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – a symbolic grave commemorating the nameless soldiers who died in the defense of Poland, the site of the most important national holidays.

President Andrzej Duda during the signing ceremonyPAP / Leszek Szymański

Main photo source: TVN24



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