The objections of the Council of the Silesian District Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland to the competition announced by the General Office of Construction Supervision for the creation of conceptual designs for single-family houses of up to 180 square meters.
Until recently, one of the hottest topics of discussion in the world of architecture was the organization of a competition for the design of houses up to 70 square meters, commissioned by the Ministry of Development and Technology, which we have written about many times in Architektura&Biznes. The General Office of Construction Supervision also organized a competition aimed at students for designs of recreational houses and a competition for multi-family buildings with reduced energy consumption. Another competition, this time for designs of single-family houses of 120, 150 and 180 square meters, is stirring up no less controversy than the previous iterations.
In response to the announcement of the competition, the Council of the Silesian District Chamber of Archite cts of the Republic of Poland has sent an official letter requesting the National Council of the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland to urgently intervene in the matter of the competition to the Ministry of Development and Technology.
Below we publish the content of the letter
Dear Fellow President, Dear Fellow Secretary!
On 05/07/2023, the website of the Ministry of Development and Technology published an announcement of a competition, including free designs for 120 sq.m, 150 sq.m and 180 sq.m. single-family houses(Architecture competition for 120, 150 and 180 sq. m. house designs starts. -Ministry of Development and Technology - Gov.pl Portal (www.gov.pl)), implemented by the General Office of Construction Supervision.
The competition identified 12 types of houses, differentiated both in terms of area, building construction, as well as, among others, houses on "narrow plots" or "difficult geological conditions." Buildings and plots with such characteristics require individual analysis by the designer each time, and such formulation of the competition conditions contradicts architectural integrity.
The purpose of the competition is to obtain a spectrum of design solutions that the organizer intended would be subject to free distribution by the state. The inclusion of houses with such areas in the competition, along with already functioning designs for houses up to 70 m², constitutes the creation of unfair and socially unjustified competition by the state against the architectural community. It is difficult to point to a social demand in this design area, served so far efficiently by IARP architects.
This competition, together with the deregulation in the field of single-family house design that is under way, poses a serious threat to a very large group of IARP member architects. Architects who run their offices and studios, have spent years earning the trust of individual investors, which this competition effectively undermines and eliminates, posing a serious threat to continued professional activity.
The development and subsequent free distribution of competition designs is in total contradiction to the legislator's stated demand for spatial order.
Projects made for abstract locations, in no way taking into account the provisions of local plans, local tradition, spatial and cultural context, will form the basis for shaping the quality of space. Easy access to free projects will exacerbate spatial chaos, which will be shaped by random people rather than professionals.
Concerns are raised about the need for participants in the competition to have only building licenses, without indicating membership in the IARP, i.e. without the right to practice in Poland.
Also of concern is the participation of IARP architects in the Competition Jury, which may suggest legitimization of this competition by our Chamber.
In view of these reservations, we ask for urgent intervention - with the organizer of the competition, i.e. the Ministry of Development and Technology, and the implementer of the competition, the General Office of Construction Supervision - opposing this initiative, highly detrimental to our environment, but above all to the quality of our country's space.
With collegial greetings
Piotr Średniawa, IARP Architect and Chairman of the Council of SLOIA RP
Agnieszka Wereszczyńska, IARP Architect and Vice President of the Council of SLOIA RP
Anita Langer, IARP Architect and Secretary of the SLOIA RP Council