The organizers of one of the largest open competitions in recent years faced an unforeseen problem: the names of two of the six finalists, who were not supposed to be known either to the jury or to the public until the end of this year, when it is planned to announce the winner, got onto the World Wide Web.
Anonymity is not only an objective condition for fair competition between famous architects and their budding colleagues, but also a mandatory clause of the Swedish law on architectural competitions. But in this case, the classified information got to the editors of two Internet resources, who were quick to take the opportunity to publish it. The organizers of the competition turned to them with a request to remove this data from the sites, which was done, although some damage was done to the competition.
According to the Swedish side, one of more than 1000 participants in the first round of the competition, who did not make it to the final and was angry with the jury, could be behind the leak.
The Swedish Association of Architects has announced its firm intention to bring the competition to an end - despite the incident. In the summer, finalized projects of the finalists should be presented, the final decision on the winner will be made at the end of 2007, and in 2013 the doors of the new library building should open to the public.
At the same time, not everyone shares the concern and despondency of the organizers of the competition: for example, some British architects believe that in the age of the almost ubiquitous spread of the Internet and the associated opportunity for everyone to publish any information in the shortest possible time, anonymous architectural competitions have outlived their usefulness. Also, in their opinion, the earlier announcement of the names of the finalists would rather glorify them than prevent the jury from making a decision.
In general, the situation with the Stockholm Library is another unpleasant incident in a series of recent scandals related to international competitions.