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Between the 5th and 7th of November 2021, the competition Jury debated in order to decide the results for the “Nicolae Bălcescu High School Cluj-Napoca” International Design Competition, a competition officially launched on the 9th of August 2021. The Contracting Authority of the competition is the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca.

The event could be viewed in real time on the CIIC – Center for Innovation and Civic Imagination and OAR Concursuri Facebook pages.


1st Prize: The design services contract with an estimated value of 2.499.780 RON, exclusive of VAT

2nd Prize: 83.000 RON           

3rd Prize: 41.500 RON

Following the Jury debates the winning projects were selected:

1st PRIZE – 100 – GC0991 – Joint venture: S.C. SQM ARCHITECTURE S.R.L., S.C. FILIP S CONCEPT S.R.L. and S.C. HAB PRO CREATIV S.R.L.

Main authors: Urcan Remus Cristian și Filip Ionuț Radu

Coauthors: Hotea Timotei și Urcan Remus Cristian

Architecture collaborators: S.C. FILIP S CONCEPT S.R.L. și S.C. HAB PRO CREATIV S.R.L.

Specialty collaborators: S.C. XC  PROJECT S.R.L. și S.C. CSP PROIECT S.R.L.

”The winning project stands out for the simplicity and clarity of the intervention concept, which succeeds in responding to the complex issues of the theme and of the difficult location, characterised by the heterogeneity of urban forms and architectural typologies. The main quality of the proposal lies in reconciling apparently divergent requirements: enhancement of existing architectural-urbanistic values and modernisation of the area; reverence for the past and affirmation of the new; prestigious image and contemporary expression; openness to the public space and introversion of the educational space.” – Jury feedback

2nd PRIZE – Project no. 118 – SP2021 – S.C. SIMPLE ARCHITECTURE S.R.L.

Main authors: Chioran Bogdan, Pintea Dan Andrei, Rădac Florin, Boca Ștefania

Coauthors: Pop Monica Rodica

Architecture collaborators: Blănaru Alexandu, Hăprian Marius Alexandru, Koça Spiro, Ivan Vasile Septimiu

Specialty collaborators: Deepak Jain, Colda Ciprian, Sabou Ruben

”The project proposes an extension in the form of a single building, located in the vicinity of the existing volume. The extension is linked to the historic high school by a walkway as well as the access yard, which distributes both bodies of the project. In addition, the project team proposes a reconfiguration of the central wing of the old building, designed to optimize the main access and distribution to the floors. The sports fields, located at the northeast end of the site, are coherently integrated into the architecture of the whole ensemble through two porticos. The two structures, generated on the ground floor by the new building, act as a natural extension of its façade and cover the entire length of the site. The proposal also includes the possibility of the use of sports fields by the public, in this case the porticos are used as a flexible filter between private and public space.” – Jury feedback

3rd PRIZE – Project no. 104 – AS2106 – NORMA ARHITECTURĂ ȘI URBANISM S.R.L.

Main authors: Fleșeriu Alexandru Nicolae, Péter Eszter, Farkas Kinga, Oana Antonia Filip, Radu Nicolae Stoica, Emil Horga

”The project proposes a solution that stands out for its simplicity of means combined with great flexibility. This simplicity succeeds in resolving both the relationship with the urban, with the old building and the internal functional solution. The architecture is marked by the same restraint and avoidance of plastic gestures in favor of a rationalism that allows things to be built from strictly necessary elements and spaces resulting from configurations of “negative space” rather than sculpturally. The choice of wood as an apparent structural element is noteworthy, inscribed in the same concept, but difficult in the context of Romanian technical norms.” – Jury feedback


Main authors: Maria-Iulia Stanciu / Cosmin Gălățianu / Eduard Dumitru Untaru

Coauthors: Florian Stanciu, Cosmin Valentin Georgescu, Roberta Iulia Frumușelu, Octavian Bîrsan, Alexandru Cristian Beșliu, David Sebastian Mihai, Sebastian Cosmin Ciulei

”The project is impressive through the depth of the conceptual approach and the picturesqueness of the interior, exterior and interstitial spaces, respectively, in contrast with the crudeness and asceticism of the expression of the volumes. The jury appreciated that the project team proposed the recovery of all existing buildings on the site, and their ennoblement through subtle extensions and modifications. The relation to the city is guided by a strong idea consisting of the coagulation of a central empty space with a symbolic geometry, a space offered for use to all categories of public after the end of the school program. This space becomes the heart of the built fragments and peripheral interstitial spaces. Unfortunately, this central space does not get the fulfilment it deserves due to the insertion of the sports field with a built perimeter boundary that fragments the space of the square.” – Jury feedback

The purpose of the design competition was to select the best project for the extension and modernization of the Nicolae Bălcescu Highschool in Cluj-Napoca and the adjacent streets, for the award of the design services contract.  

The city of Cluj-Napoca is fully embracing the belief that education is the basis of a healthy society and has thus started a program to rehabilitate school infrastructure, intending to continue it with European funding. EU’s allocation strategy supports the renovation of buildings and the increase of the quality of spaces in public and educational buildings, respectively. The municipality has chosen in the case of “Nicolae Bălcescu” Theoretical High School the approach of an architectural design competition to find the best solution to solve the current problems of this high school and the neighboring urban space.

The exhibition of all the projects participating in the competition can be visited in the next period at the Casino Urban Culture Centre, Central Park “Simion Bărnuțiu”, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj.

The competition was organized by the Romanian Order of Architects (OAR), in accordance with the Competition Rules of the International Union of Architects (UIA – l’Union Internationale des Architectes) and the provisions of the International Recommendations for Architecture and Urban Planning Competitions adopted at the UNESCO General Conference of 1956, revised on 27 November 1978, in compliance with the provisions of the legislation in force regarding the award of public procurement contracts. 

The design competition was organized as an independent procedure, in accordance with art. 105 letter a) of Law no. 98/2016 regarding public procurement, and subsequently, pursuant to provisions under art. 104 para. (7) of the same law, the design services contract is to be awarded to the winner of the competition, following a negotiation procedure without prior publication of a participation announcement. 

The Design Competition was a public, single-stage competition, open to Romania, all countries of the European Union and of the European Economic Area, and to the Swiss Confederation. 


Full members:

  • arch. Horia Marinescu – Austria – President of the Jury
  • arch. Daniel Pop – representative of the Contracting Authority
  • arch. Johannes Bertleff – Romania
  • arch. Ștefan Tuchilă – France
  • arch. Mihaela Criticos – Romania
  • arch. Mariana Michiu – representative of OAR Transylvania Branch
  • arch. Șerban Patrulius – Romania

Deputy members:

  • arch. Maria Duda – Romania
  • arch. Daniela Calciu – Romania

The jury was also accompanied by the organizing team from the Romanian Order of Architects, without the right to vote:

  • arch. Ina Stoian – Professional Advisor
  • arch. Mirona Crăciun – Competition Coordinator
  • arch. Ilinca Pop – Secretary of the Jury
  • arch. Aura Oancea – Logistics
  • arch. Iulia Cucu – Competitions Communication and PR

Find out more on the official competition website:

and in Romanian:

For the latest news on the competition follow our official OAR Competitions Facebook page:

For more news about our organization please follow the official Order of Architects in Romania (OAR) Facebook page: