Competitions – Case study No. 8 – Royal Garden – Mecanoo, Michael van Gessel, DELVA Landscape Architects, Jojko+Nawrocki Architects – Poland

Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016: Concept of the 21st Century Garden with exhibition pavilion, revitalization of the Royal Łazienki Park Museum, PL, 2013
Case study No. 8
Participants had to submit all the material in Polish or with Polish translations

The A10 survey into Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016, commissioned by Architectuur Lokaal, has made it clear that the word ‘competition’ does not mean the same thing in every country in Europe. Sometimes a competition refers to a design contest without any intention of realization, sometimes it refers to a full tender procedure, or anything in between. To gain a better insight in the nature of competitions in Europe, A10 correspondents collected 50 case studies from 17 countries. Combined they show the differences in topics, fees, procedures, scale, transparency, and clients.

A competition with an English-language version is a rather rare phenomenon in Poland. The two-stage competition is also unlikely in Poland, but most of the competitions that provide an English version of materials are these two-stage competitions.

The Royal Łazienki Park Museum in Warsaw, in cooperation with Warsaw Branch of the Association of Polish Architects, was the organizer of this two-stage competition. As part of the team, a minimum of one licensed architect (with a minimum of experience in one building permit design of a public utility building with a floor area not smaller than 2500 m2), one landscape architect (with a university diploma and a minimum of experience in one building permit design of landscape architecture for a public park or garden with an area not smaller than 0.5 ha), and one art historian with a university diploma were required. The competition required a kind of extension of the museum park (18th-century royal park with park architecture and numerous small buildings). An English-language version of the rules and competition brief and map of the direct neighbourhood were available. Part of the material was in Polish, and participants had to submit all the material in Polish or with Polish translations. The evaluation criteria in both stages are connected with percentages of points. The jury consisted of only Polish architects and experts from cultural institutions.

Mecanoo, Michael van Gessel, DELVA Landscape Architects (NL), Jojko+Nawrocki Architects (PL)


Competition culture in Poland was surveyed by A10 correspondent Hubert Trammer in Warsaw. This survey is the start of a four-year research project by Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European architecture Cooperative. Copy editor: Dutton Hauhart. Images: Mecanoo