On 28 June, we announced the results of the Competition for the preparation of an urban architectural concept for an International Music Center in Żelazowa Wola. The winner of the Competition Grand Prix  is the studio of Stelmach i Partnerzy Biuro Architektoniczne Sp. z o.o. The Second Prize went to a team of architects comprised of: Mirabela Jurczenko, Bartosz Kowal, Wojciech Mazan, Bartłomiej Poteralski, Rafał Śliwa. Aside from the prizes, the Jury awarded two honorable mentions ex aequo to HRA Architekci Sp. z o.o. and Dipl. Arch. ETH SIA Anna Jach, as well as two pro forma honorable mentions for the team of AMC – Andrzej M. Chołdzyński Sp. z o.o. and the team of Flanagan Lawrence LTD.

No less than 213 architectural studios and teams from 18 countries applied to take part in the architectural competition.  For the first – studio – round, 94 competition works were submitted.   In April, the team of judges selected the six best concepts, admitting them to the second – design execution – round. During this round, the authors drew up their initial ideas, indicating specific architectural functional-practical solutions.

A challenge for the designers taking part in the competition was the harmonious connection of the new structure with the Fryderyk Chopin Birthplace and the memorial park from the interwar period. The International Music Center will include a concert hall with 650 seats; and beyond this, a smaller concert and conference space, practice rooms, a recording studio with director’s room, as well as educational rooms and a cloak room. At the International Music Center, there will also be accompanying rooms, including a foyer, halls, gastronomic/restaurant and office spaces, an underground garage and parking spaces.

The Center will permit The Fryderyk Chopin Institute to expand and intensify its artistic, educational, conference and training activity, including the organization of selected Chopin and His Europe festival concerts, Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition eliminations, concerts accompanying museum tours, master classes and academic conferences. Thanks to the intended acoustic conditions of the concert hall and the full recording functionality of the highest technical quality, it will be possible to record special artistic performances inspired by the unique atmosphere of the place. Beyond this, it will enrich the region’s artistic program, enable endeavors of nationwide scope to be carried out and, thanks to collaboration with other cultural institutions, increase the attractiveness of the place on an international scale.
It is anticipated that the building of the International Music Center will begin during the final months of 2019 and last until the end of 2021. The total cost of the investment will be ca. PLN 65 000 000.
The Competition judges were recognized architects, representatives of the Polish Architects’ Association SARP, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Mazowieckie Provincial Office, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the Mazowieckie Province Historical Building Conservator, as well as Chopinologists – members of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute’s Program Council.

The competition jury was comprised of:
Chairman of the Court:
•    Piotr Walkowiak – architect, representative of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Deputy Chairman of the Court:
•    Ryszard Jurkowski – architect, representative of the Polish Architects’ Association SARP
Court Clerk:
•    Tomasz Konior – architect, representative of the Polish Architects’ Association SARP

Other Judges:
•    Prof. Zofia Chechlińska – musicologist, Chopinologist (Jagiellonian University), member of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute Programming Council
•    Jarosław Szajner – Representative of the Mazowieckie Provincial Governor, Director General of the Mazowieckie Provincial Office
•    Prof. Jakub Lewicki – Mazowieckie Province Historical Building Conservator
•    Prof. John Rink – musicologist, Chopinologist (University of Cambridge), member of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute Programming Council
•    Dr. Artur Szklener – musicologist, Chopinologist, Director of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
•    Piotr Lewicki – architect, representative of the Polish Architects’ Association SARP
Deputy Competition Judges in the persons of:
•    Maciej Janicki – Deputy Director for Museum Affairs, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
•    Jacek Krych – architect, landscape architect, representative of the Polish Architects’ Association SARP.

During the selection of the best works, the judges rated them according to the following criteria:
•    Attractiveness of architectural solutions and grounds development
•    Functionality of proposed solutions for the building interior and grounds development in the context of program and practical requirements
•    Provision of proper acoustic conditions
•    A harmonious relationship with the Fryderyk Chopin Birthplace and Park in Żelazowa Wola
•    Clarity of realization of the Organizers’ programmatic premises
•    Plausibility of proposed solutions
•    The economics of the building and exploitation, especially including solutions for an energy-saving building.

The competition Grand Prix is PLN 200 000, as well as an invitation to negotiations in single source procedure mode. The 2nd Prize is PLN 150 000. The Jury awarded two honorable mentions of PLN 50 000 each, as well two pro forma honorable mentions of PLN 18 000 each for the remaining participants in the 2nd round. The total prize pool amounted to PLN 486 000.