On 15 August 1905 the “Programme of the Competition for the Architectural Plan of the Peace Palace for the use of the Permanent Court of Arbitration with a Library” was sent out all over the world. The competition was open to all. On the closing day, 15 April 1906, no less than 216 plans had been submitted, covering a total of more than 3.000 drawings.

The fourth-prize winning design by the famous (Oberbaurat) Otto Wagner of Vienna was – as the jury argued – a daring imitation of the classical styles, illustrating the architect’s seeking for ‘novel methods of artistic treatment’. Though the plan had some obvious defects, the architect had ‘fairly well’ met the chief requirements of the programme. One had to allow for the flat roofs of course and as to marble slabs on the walls, these evidently did not suit the Dutch sea climate, but in most respects this was certainly one of the best designs available! (Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Peace Palace: Residence for Justice, Domicile of Learning, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 1988, pag. 63-75)

(No. 17 L’Art de l’époque)

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