1.         Centennial Hall in Wrocław (Poland) (C 1165)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2006

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1165/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1165/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1165/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 15 March 2012. This addressed the Eastern Bridge Road project and provided details of proposed new projects in the property and its buffer zone. As requested by the Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011), a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission visited the property between 14‑17 November 2011 to assess the state of conservation of the property and to consider the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property of the rebuilt Pavilion and of the proposed Eastern Bridge road project. The mission report is available online at the following web address: http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM/.

a) Renovation of the Main Restaurant Pavilion

The mission found that since its inscription in 2006, some major components of the property have undergone conservation and upgrading projects. These include the Pergola, the Centennial Hall, the Pool, and the Main Restaurant Pavilion. Together these have improved the overall conservation conditions of the property, which today can be considered as satisfactory. However the mission noted that the renovation of the Main Restaurant Pavilion, which has been carried out following an international design competition, shows some shortcomings in design and realization that make the final result of this intervention not entirely satisfactory. The mission considered that some of the shortcomings might be related to the practice of accepting the lowest tender.

b) Proposed Eastern Bridge Road Project

The proposed EasternBridge road, or Great Island Avenue, was planned to run eastwards of the inscribed property, outside its boundaries and next to a stretch of the buffer zone boundary. The road was planned to be a dual carriageway extension of the city centre ring road. At the time of the mission, no detailed plans were provided to the Mission by the State Party. The mission was informed that the project had been temporarily halted on 30 June 2011 by the Administrative Court’s invalidation of the Municipality approval of the Environmental Impact Study, following an appeal by NGOs. The mission team verified that no works have been carried out on site.

The State Party report informs that by virtue of a November 2011 decision of the Mayor of Wroclaw the road will be downgraded to a single carriageway up to 7 m wide with a total width of 25 metres that includes pavement, cycling routes, vegetation and acoustic protection. 

The State Party report states as well that no information had been submitted to the World Heritage Centre on the road project in advance as it was outside the buffer zone and in their view would not impact on the property. However, it also states that, as any revision of the road would require the planning process to start again, they will examine the possibility of including a Heritage Impact Assessment in accordance with ICOMOS guidelines in the process.

The Mission team considered that the court ruling provides an opportunity for examining alternative routes and modifying the road project proposal so as to avoid any adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

According to the mission team, the Heritage Impact Assessment for any revised scheme would need to consider potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and on its setting, taking into consideration the historic and cultural context of the Centennial Hall and of the Exhibition Grounds as well as the role that the property had in the planning and development of its surroundings.

c) Proposed Underground Car Park and related above-ground facility

The mission was provided with a few details of a proposed two-storey underground car park on the eastern side of the Centennial Hall, the location of the current car parking. The State Party report provides information that the car park, with two underground and one ground (open) floors will provide space for 800 cars and 15 buses. The details shown to the mission as well as those provided in the State Party report are insufficient for a full assessment of the possible impact of the planned structure on the property, including on the nature of the ground of the Island and on the structure of the Centennial Hall, and of the visual impact of the above ground structures on the overall property and its setting.

d) Proposed Renovation of the Four Dome Pavilion

The mission was provided with some details of an extensive conservation and adaptive re-use project to renovate the Pavilion to allow it to house a collection of modern art. The Four Domes Pavilion, originally called the Historical – Artistic Exhibition Pavilion, was built in 1913 as one of the buildings on the Exhibition Grounds. The mission team was informed that the project had been approved and will be implemented as soon as funds are available. The State Party report includes architectural drawings of the scheme. It states that the project will reverse alterations made in the second part of the 20th century when the Pavilion was used as a film studio. The project includes a new light weight roof over the courtyard between the four domes.

e) Other projects:

The State Party provides information on plans for a project in the buffer zone for a new pavilion which will be a reception area as well as housing an Oceanarium – Africanarium. The height will not exceed 15 metres. It is stated that preparations are being made to launch the construction. The report also informs that a new project called Revitalisation of the Wohnung und Werkraum Ausstellung (Dwelling and Workplace) 1929 complex is foreseen to start in 2013. The project will include examples of modernist architecture. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the findings of the mission that the overall state of conservation has improved since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List, although some shortcomings are observed in the restoration of the Main restaurant pavilion, possibly related to the tendering process.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also note the information about the newly proposed projects, including the underground car park, the renovation of the Four Domes pavilion in the property, the proposed development of an Oceanarium – Africanarium and the revitalisation of the Wohnung und Werkraum Ausstellung 1929 complex in the buffer zone. They recommend that, for all of these, the Committee request the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, detailed plans and appropriate heritage impact assessments, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with the requirements of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The developments of these projects, most within the footprint of the original Exhibition grounds, highlights the need for a clearer understanding as to how future developments around the Centennial Hall, grounds, buffer zone and setting, fit into the overall Spatial Plan of 2004 (part of the Management plan), how they relate to each other, and how the design concepts respect the clear unity of design and planning that was recognised at the time of inscription and contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note that the project for the proposed four land Eastern Bridge road, or Great Island Avenue, along part of the buffer zone boundary has been halted by a Court Order and that the Mayor has subsequently decreed that the road should be downgraded. They also recommend to the Committee to request the State Party to submit details of any revised project, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre for review together with a Heritage Impact Assessment of its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and its setting, in relation to the design of its island hinterland.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.80

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36 COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.101 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Takes note of the results of the mission concerning the overall improved state of conservation of the property but notes certain shortcomings in the quality of works on the Main Restaurant Pavilion and urges the State Party to ensure higher standards during future works;

4.   Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, full details of all proposed projects which may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the Property, including the underground car park, the Four Domes Pavilion and the future projects in the buffer zone, together with heritage impact assessments, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before any commitments are made;

5.   Also requests the State Party to provide an overall development plan for the property and its buffer zone to allow understanding as to how the various proposed projects relate to the Spatial Plan, 2004 and, in terms of design concepts, to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6.   Also takes note of the halting of the Eastern Bridge road proposal, along the edge of the buffer zone as well as of its downgrading to a single carriageway, and further requests the State Party to submit any revised plans, together with a Heritage Impact assessment of its potential impact on the setting of the property, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in line with Paragraph 172 of Operational Guidelines;

7.   Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above.