The winner of the architectural competition for the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace in Warsaw was the WXCA studio, the same one that designed the monumental Polish History Museum a few years ago.
President Andrzej Duda and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński took part in the ceremony announcing the results of the architectural and urban planning competition for the development of a concept for the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, Brühl Palace and tenement houses at ul. Królewska in Warsaw. A competition to develop an architectural concept was announced in March. The winner was the WXCA studio from Warsaw. The same office designed, among others: the recently opened building of the Polish History Museum at the Citadel Whether the so-called square of five corners.
Clearances and courtyards as an extension of streets and squares
In a message posted on Facebook, the WXCA studio stated that the reconstruction concept “is not just a recreation of the walls and aesthetics of the past”, it is “a search for a dialogue between caring for memory and addressing current needs and conditions.”
Therefore, in place of the existing courtyards of the Saxon Palace and the tenement houses on Królewska Street, architects proposed open, public spaces so that the palace would be better connected to the square. “We are opening buildings that were once inaccessible to residents. The spaces and courtyards constructed in this way will constitute an extension of the space of streets and squares, which will ensure freedom of movement in various directions – between buildings, from the tenement house to the Palace or Saxon Garden, from the Palace to Piłsudski Square. Thanks to this, the existing pedestrian routes will remain undisturbed, and the volume of the Palace and tenement houses will not constitute an urban barrier,” the press release explains.
The organizer of the competition was Pałac Saski, and the direct operator was the Association of Polish Architects (SARP). The commissioning of all both palaces and tenement houses is planned for 2030.
“With great elegance, class, inscribed in history”
President Duda emphasized during the ceremony that Warsaw has become much more beautiful in recent decades, which is why it is gaining a new, beautiful face. He added that during the reconstruction of the capital ruined by the Nazis, it was not possible to restore its pre-war beauty.
– But this place is so significant, so deeply inscribed in the historical memory of Warsaw, these palaces and tenement houses have their own meaning, one can safely say, not only timeless, but also (…) downright magical for Warsaw – said the president.
The president thanked everyone involved in the reconstruction process. – We are left with this first spectacular stage of selecting the concept and then preparing the design documentation – said Duda, emphasizing that he believes in the implementation of this project.
– It’s high time for Warsaw, the people of Warsaw and Poland to regain this old part of Warsaw. With great elegance and class, embedded in history, but at the same time in Warsaw, which is developing in a very modern way – emphasized the president.
The Minister of Culture announces what will be located in the buildings
– We are rebuilding the Saxon Palace as it was in 1939 – an architectural symbol of the city with an iconic colonnade visible in thousands of pre-war photos and films, a colonnade whose arcades protect the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While respecting its contemporary, tragic form, we also recall its original form. And, according to the creators’ intentions, it was supposed to have a triumphal and joyful character, i.e. not a tomb, but a monument of glory with an architectural structure – said Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
He noted that the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace is not only about restoring symbols, it is also a great socio-cultural project.
– Many people ask what will be in this palace? There will be a large cultural and educational center based on programs already created by cultural institutions, such as the National Museum in Warsaw, the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute, the Polish History Museum will have a branch there, the “Niepodległa” Office and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art. The reconstruction of these buildings also means the construction of our own seat of the Senate and the Office of the Masovian Voivode – said the Minister of Culture.
Main photo source: PAP/Paweł Supernak