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Thursday 02 Sep 2010

SAK thrust into limelight

Editorial by WAN Editorial
Editorial by WAN Editorial Editorial by WAN Editorial Editorial by WAN Editorial Editorial by WAN Editorial Editorial by WAN Editorial
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15/09/10 P. Zamarian, Camborne UK
Sounds dodgy. You seem well-informed. Can you name your sources?
15/09/10 T Rivard, Sydney
There have recently been a few new developments on this putative competition "winner," the architects of which are also the architects for a major residential complex immediately adjoining the site. This congruency immediately raised everyone's suspicions as to both the anonymity and the honesty of the decision.

Adding to the slightly fishy smell was the fact that the envelope identifying SAK was one of 4 mysteriously "destroyed" sometime during the process; nevertheless, their scheme was successfully identified.

A collective of Polish architecture firms have filed a class action lawsuit alleging fraud, and pointing out the following irregularities:

1. the two main directors of SAK are teaching colleagues at the local university, along with a key member of the jury, the "scrutiniser:" Grzegorz Buczek. Under the written terms of the competition, anyone having professional contact with any jury member is ineligible to enter.

2. SAK provided drawings and documentation of the site and surrounds to the competition organisers in preparation of the information package used by all entrants. Again, under the competition conditions, anyone who contributes information to the competition brief is ineligible to enter.

3. Finally, the competition terms clearly state that any entry whose identifying information is lost or destroyed or unable to be found (for whatever reason) is immediately disqualified from the competition.

I don't think Daniel Liebeskind had much say; the whole affair seems like an altogether local kind of insider trading.

Stay tuned.
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07/09/10 emeritus Prof. Seymour Auerbach, F.A.I.A, Chevy Chase, MD
After all Polad suffered during the 2nd World war, this building must be added to the list.

What the devil does it say about the War, the millions killed, and on and on as we read in some periodical or other on an almost daily basis !

Look at the plans: This buiding basicly wants to be a rectilinear office-cum- garage-cum- small exhibit space. How was that outrageous shape arrived at? Oh, Origani!
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Design by Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat chosen for Museum of the Second World War 

Polish firm Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat has been officially announced as the winner of an international design competition for the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, Poland. Beating off competition from 240 firms in 33 countries, Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat’s design was selected for its ‘minimalist means of architectural expression’ and ability to ‘gracefully blend the modern idea of the building with the historic background’.

A panel of nine key architectural figures chaired by Wieslaw Bielawski met over a period of three days to examine the plethora of entries, awarding first prize (and €80,000) to Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat, second prize to Piotr Płaskowicki & Partnerzy Architekci and third prize to BETAPLAN S.A.

The symbolic elements of the winning design seemed to sit well with the esteemed jury panel, which included architects George Ferguson, Wiesław Gruszkowski and Daniel Libeskind. Justification notes released on the decision praise the image of the museum ‘rising symbolically from the ground’ and the ways in which the design ‘links the ground – its gloom, chill, and imprint of the past, with the skies – hope, freshness, and future’.

At approximately 15,000 sq m the Museum of the Second World War is a colossal space, with the entrance zone alone – complete with entrance hall, shop, restaurant, children’s play room and cinema hall – totalling nearly 2,500 sq m. The museum will also house a library, multimedia reading room and a specialised reading room for those with impaired sight and hearing. A range of seminar and educational facilities are scattered throughout the complex, including a studio enabling the recording of radio and television programmes.

Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat’s bold thrusting design is a rust-toned vision of clean lines and textures. Sunken into the Motława embankment, the glass and metal structure offers an array of sharp edges and basic geometric forms. Within this sculptural propulsion, the jury saw ‘a symbol of catastrophe and the surviving hope’.

However, one can’t help but note similarities between Studio Architektoniczne Kwadrat’s winning design and the work of a certain Polish-American juror…

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Competition win
Value 0(m€)
WAN Editorial

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