Today in Krakow, the results of the architectural and urban planning competition for the design of the Planet Lem Literature and Language Centre were announced. The city’s flagship investment in the field of culture will be located on the site of the former Salt Store in Zabłocie by 2023. The international two-stage architectural competition was organised by the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office – the operator of the centre – and the Association of Polish Architects, Krakow Branch.
The complex will be a natural operational centre for the Krakow – UNESCO City of Literature programme – a place for festivals, a laboratory for multi-generational literary education, as well as an open space for various reading popularisation initiatives, with the assumption of involving numerous literary circles of Krakow. The temporary exhibitions organised here will refer to the centuries-old Krakow literary traditions and the achievements of outstanding writers associated with the city, but Planet Lem is also designed as a space for experimentation and a place for the presentation of important forms and phenomena in contemporary literature. The creation of the Centre will also be part of the Lem 2021 long-term cultural and educational programme, carried out in connection with the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the author of Solaris in 2021.
71 participants were invited to submit studies in the first stage of the competition, and 44 studies were submitted. The Competition Jury chaired by Piotr Lewicki selected the winning design. The jury was composed of eminent architects experienced in cultural projects, including Alberto Veiga from the Barrozzi/Veiga studio – author of the Philharmonic in Szczecin – and Zbigniew Maćków, responsible for the famous Church: Beauty and Kitsch project, which was carried out within the framework of the programme of the European Capital of Culture 2016 in Wrocław. The competition was assigned SARP number 983.