UK firm White Mark wins major design competition for Polish University

After fifty years of servicing sound engineers and musicians, the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw has decided to significantly update its recording studios, editing suites, orchestral studio, lecture theatres and master control room in line with current technical and educational requirements.

To decide which company would take on the refit of the prestigious institution, the University held an open competition, inviting acoustic and architectural companies from around the world to tackle the brief which included the above mentioned rooms as well as the design of an Atmos mixing studio – the first of its kind in Poland.

Alan Cundell, Director of White Mark, says: “We approached the competition brief in the same way that we would approach any design brief – with a view to giving the client the best facility possible within the constraints of the budget and the available space.

"The main issues we faced were optimally configuring the large number of rooms that needed to be included in our submission and ensuring that our technical proposals were both appropriate to the University’s educational requirements and reflected current industry practice. The time frame was very short and we had to pull out all the stops to meet the deadline.”

The competition was judged ‘blindly’ with each proposal being identified by only a reference number. In the end, White Mark came out with a score 11 percent higher than the competition.

“Winning the competition was a great achievement and one we are very proud of, but the bigger challenge will come when we start designing for construction,” Alan Cundell adds. “That’s when the hard work really starts!”