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Design Contest Focuses on Warsaw Icon

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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A newly launched design contest seeks to revitalize a landmark rotunda building in Warsaw, Poland.

The "Changing the Face 2013" international architectural competition was officially announced June 4.

The competition organizers—DuPont, PKO Bank Polski, the Union of Polish Architects, the Polish Green Building Council, and—say this year's winning design will actually be built.

Rotunda building in Warsaw, Poland

"Changing the Face 2013" invites architects from around the world to submit designs to revamp PKO Bank Polski's Rotunda building in Warsaw. Registration closes July 15; submissions are due Aug. 19.

Architects and designers are invited to submit "innovative designs" to revitalize the existing building and to "provide a new and sustainable face for Central Europe’s largest bank (PKO Bank Polski)," according to the organizers.

Registration for the contest closes July 15; project submissions are due Aug.19.

“While previous editions of this competition were theoretical, the innovation of this year is that the winning design of the competition will actually be built,“ the organizers said.

The winning design will also receive PLN 50,000 (fifty thousand zlotys) gross (approximately USD $15,500 USD), according to contest details.

Modernizing a Landmark

The PKO Rotunda is the "iconic focal point" of Zbigniew Karpinski’s 1962-69 urban complex in central Warsaw.

Located at the junction of two major streets, the rotunda is a well-known city landmark and favorite local meeting place. The building is a historically significant part of the city’s 20th-Century urban fabric.

DuPont Design Competition

A main goal of the contest is to "reface" the rotunda to create an inviting public space, the organizers say.

The redesign of the highly symbolic structure is an unrivaled opportunity to bring a contemporary update to a major modern landmark, according to DuPont.

Plans will be judged based on the quality of the overall design and its relationship to the surrounding area, according to project details.

Design Requirements

Beyond maintaining the historic qualities of Rotunda building, the revitalization is planned to be certified with two of three green-building systems: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), or the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

An additional condition set by the organizers is the use of at least three DuPont building materials. DuPont’s Tyvek membranes for the building envelope and Teflon architectural fabrics and surface protections for decorative coatings were listed as possible materials for the design.

The concept for the “Changing the Face” competitions was first proposed in 2008 at a workshop dedicated to the Colosseum in Rome, and later developed for iconic buildings in the cities of Bucharest, Prague, Zagreb, Athens and Moscow.

In each city, architects were asked to work on an aging public building selected by DuPont in collaboration with local institutions.

More information:


Tagged categories: Architecture; Building design; Color + Design; Contests; Designers; DuPont; Green building

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