Biecz is a small town located in south-eastern Poland within the region of Lesser Poland, 137km from the region’s capital city, Cracow. The city was founded in the 10th Century, and by the mid-16th Century, the city became one of the largest in Poland. A royal city, Biecz enjoyed an economic and social Renaissance during the 14th and 15th centuries which tapered off into a gradual decline starting during the 17th century.
Today, Biecz’s covers an area of 17.8km2 and has a population of 4,585 inhabitants. It is a picturesque town and attracts many tourists due to its rich history and numerous historical monuments. The local authorities' ambition is to develop the city with new homes and workspaces for the growing population and to identify a new potential attraction what would bring more visitors to the city.
The Town Council of Biecz has identified an area close to the town center to be developed in the near future. The Faculty of Architecture of Cracow University of Technology has been asked to host a workshop in which its students will be given the opportunity to analyse and propose a way in which the site can be developed. Following an ongoing relationship with the university, Simon Bowden Architecture have been invited to curate the workshop and lead the process.
The workshop was structured in the form of a competition. Students were selected at random to form groups of 4, with each group then working together to analyse the site and form a masterplan concept proposal.
Below are presented selected images of each group's proposal, which illustrate the outcome of a 2-day workshop, highlighting the student's process of analysis and conceptual design. All the groups demonstrated a great engagement arriving at interesting conclusions and proposals.