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 jury, after subsequent diligent inspection, alloted the sixth prize to Franz Schwechten of Berlin, a design with an elaborate ground plan in the classical style. It had not precisely impressed the members of the jury, it would seem, witness the report: ‘The exterior of this design is well composed, though not particularly interesting or dignified, and while the noticeably unsymmetrical plan shows some careful study, the small, narrow light-areas seem out of place in a building occupying an open site’. (Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Peace Palace: Residence for Justice, Domicile of Learning, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 1988, pag. 63-75)
(No. 130 Eirene)
‘Schwechten had been inspired by the work of the Italian architect Palladio, but adapted his design to German taste’. (De Opmerker, 16 June 1906, p. 186)
‘It is very similar to the design he submitted in the architectural competition for the Reichstag building in Berlin in 1882. Only the plan is adjusted to the programme of requirements’. (De Opmerker, 30 June 1906, p. 202.)
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Peace Palace: Residence for Justice, Domicile of Learning, The Hague, Carnegie Foundation, 1988.
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., The Trusteeship of an Ideal: The Carnegie Foundation, Vignettes of a Century, Amsterdam, Enschedé, 2004.
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