On October 24 we got to know the results of the competition to develop a concept for the development of the town square in Brzeg, together with greenery and elements of small architecture. The aim of the competition, organized by the City of Brzeg in cooperation with the Opole branch of SARP, was, among other things, to raise the functional and aesthetic value of the square and restore it to the rank of the city's showpiece.
The market square in Brzeg was delineated at the time of the city's incorporation, around the middle of the 13th century. The square, which has always been the administrative and commercial center of Brzeg, has now lost its rank in favor of Dluga Street. Until 1945, the Brzeg square was surrounded by thirty-six townhouses, facing the square. Most of them were destroyed or damaged during the war effort, and were demolished in the 1950s. Only the buildings of the eastern frontage survived in their entirety, with only four tenements remaining in the southern frontage. The biggest post-war loss of the Brest market square is the lack of development of the western frontage, which used to be made up of the most impressive tenements. Today, the rectangular square of the market is surrounded by few restored townhouses and additions to the buildings from the mid-20th century. The undeveloped western frontage has been converted into a green area. In the middle of the square is located the Renaissance Town Hall with cloisters.
© organizers archive
The subject of the competition was to develop an urban and architectural concept for the market square in the strict center of the city of Brzeg. Its goal was to obtain the best architecturaland urban planning, functional and spatial concept for the square, to raise its functional and aesthetic value and improve communication. According to the assumptions of the organizers, the market should regain the rank of the main square in the city, attract investors, residents and tourists, be a showcase of the city, and respond to the challenges of modern public needs.
The competition jury, consisting of: Roman Rutkowski (SARP Wrocław, Chairman), Jerzy Wrębiak (Mayor of Brzeg), Prof. Małgorzata Chorowska, Prof. Krzysztof Rozpondek, Radosław Preis (District Conservator of Monuments in Brzeg), Marek Mansfeld (SARP Opole) and Marek Nowacki (SARP Opole, Referee) awarded the first and second prize and two, equal third places.
The first place went to the team of MPP Maćków Pracownia Projektowa from Wroclaw, consisting of: Zbigniew Maćków, Katarzyna Mrzewa, Michał Nykiel, Justyna Turowska, Ewelina Zawadzka and Michał Zawadzki. As we read in the justification of the jury, the award was given for:
the overall elegance and moderation of the proposal properly exposing the historic Town Hall and the geometry of the historic space of the market, the visually calm, clearly pedestrian floor, the good division of the market space into a representative part (in front of the entrance to the Town Hall) and a flexible multifunctional part (at the back of the Town Hall), the interesting form of the fountain with the accompanying bench, which will be a unique piece of furniture of the city, the good, referring to historical patterns disposition of greenery.
bird's eye view, 1st prize
vision: Escalight © Maciekow Pracownia Projektowa
According to the authors of the winning concept, the decisions to eliminate vehicular traffic and rebuild the western frontage, which were stipulated in the terms of the competition, are the first, necessary steps to give the market the proper rank and character. The architects' proposal was intended to reinforce these decisions and put the existing situation in order, without a revolutionary functional or spatial change. In the basic assumptions, the designers included: giving an unambiguous, elegant form to the development of the western square, adequate to its rank and importance on the scale of the market and in the structure of the city, leaving the eastern square as a flexible, changeable space for recreation andmeetings, enriching and completing with missing elements of small architecture the shopping street in the southern passage, and giving new functions in the mid-market and northern passages.
visualization, 1st prize
image: Escalight © Maćków Pracownia Projektowa
In the design, the architects proposed a single type of paving slabs that unites the whole. The exception will be an internal "insert", whose task is to emphasize the rank of the city hall and the buildings of the mid-market block. Leveling the floor will make it possible to partially eliminate the stairs leading to the commercial premises. The authors of the project also envisaged supplementing and thickening the rows of trees along the market walls. The competition design solution for the western frontage proposed dividing the market block into five segments of varying width. In front of the town hall, on the axis of the entrance, in the place where there used to be a fountain, later turned into a monument to Frederick II, the architects proposed a shallow pond of rectangular shape, in the mirror of which the Renaissance façade of the town hall will be reflected. Along its western bank will be a long concrete seat.
visualization, 1st prize
vision: Escalight © Maćków Pracownia Projektowa
The second prize was awarded to the work of Kinga Lukasinskaya and Michal Wasielewski for:
modesty of the proposal, an interesting attempt to use and expose the existing floor of the market, and a proper understanding of the historical space of the market. Inappropriate in the work was the location of the fountain at the back of the City Hall, severely limiting the use of this space for urban events, while depriving the space in front of the City Hall of a major urban accent.
visualization, 2nd prize
© Kinga Łukasińska, Michał Wasielewski
In third place was the proposal of Marta Dąbrowska and Anna Okoń. The jury awarded the prize for:
modesty of the proposal and adequate understanding of the historical space of the market. Inappropriate in the work was the location of the fountain at the back of City Hall, severely limiting the use of this space for urban events, while depriving the space in front of City Hall of any urban accent.
An equal third prize went to the project by Michał Szkudlarski, Andrzej Nowak and Weronika Pietruńko. The award was given for:
modesty of the proposal and adequate understanding of the historical space of the market. Inappropriate in the work was the location of the group of trees at the back of the City Hall, making it impossible to use this space for city events, as well as the division of the floor suggesting roadways and sidewalks.