No British buildings on EU Mies van der Rohe Award shortlist
Not a single UK project has made it on to this year’s EU Mies van der Rohe Award shortlist for the best architecture in Europe.
And only one project by a British architect is among the 40 semi-finalists (see table below).
Stanton Williams’ Musee d’Arts de Nantes in France is the sole representative of British architecture on the shortlist in the year that Britain is due to leave the EU.
The awards were set up in 1988 to, among other things, “highlight the involvement of the European Union in supporting architecture as an important element that reflects both the diversity of European architectural expression and its role as a unifying element to define a common European culture” and “increase the incorporation of architectural professionals from the EU Member States and those countries that conclude an agreement with the EU”.
Seven of this year’s shortlisted buildings are in France, six are in Spain and four in Belgium. Albania, Serbia and Slovakia feature on the list of finalists for the first time.
Sauerbruch Hutton’s Berlin office makes the shortlist for its M9 Museum District in Venice. BIG, SelgasCano and 51N4E are among the other semi-finalists.
Stanton Williams director Patrick Richard said: “It is a privilege to be the only UK practice with a project shortlisted for this prestigious award. This highlights the contribution UK architects make within Europe, and how important it is that we continue to have the ability to work across the European Union.”
Culture is the best-represented sector on the shortlist with 15 projects. There are six education buildings, five housing projects, three mixed-use, two industrial, two private houses and one project each from the categories of health, infrastructure, offices, social welfare, sport & leisure and urban planning.
>> Also read: Nineteen British projects in running for EU Mies Award
The shortlist was chosen by a jury chaired by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup consisting of Frank McDonald, María Langarita, Kamiel Klaasse, Ștefan Ghenciulescu, Angelika Fitz and George Arbid. They met over three days in Barcelona to discuss the challenges faced by European contemporary society and its architecture, said Mandrup.
“Some of the topics that came up were the high number of works that tackle with existing constructions; the importance that collective housing continues to have throughout Europe; the need to plan and organise the territory; and the importance of culture as a programme but also the importance of architectural culture,” she added.
“Some of the quotes from the jury members that came up during the conversations include: ‘The 40 works highlight a new agenda that asks for new ways of thinking. Excellence and skilfulness are inherent in all of them, but this is not enough; it is necessary that they also make an impact and make architects themselves think differently about the profession.’
“And, ‘It is very refreshing to see how the architectural debate moves around Europe, changing its centre of discussion from one place to another over the years. This keeps architecture alive’.”
Five finalists will be announced on February 13 and the winner on May 7 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.
A spokesman from the Fundació Mies van der Rohe denied there was any Brexit connection.
He said in an email to BD: “Brexit has had no influence at all in the jury decision. I myself discovered that there were no UK projects once the meetings were ending and, in fact, I am quite sure that many of the jury members are not aware of this at all. It is absolutely surprising, but this does not mean that the quality of British architecture is not upstanding. In fact, it is. It is just the result of three-day conversations and discussions which led the jury to a series of conclusions which in this occasion has not included any UK works.
“We really hope that whatever the outcome of Brexit is, that the UK will continue signing the agreement on cultural projects with the EU like Norway, Iceland, Ukraine… do and that the UK will continue participating in the EU Mies Award. We are also very thankful for the participation of the RIBA in the prize advisory committee and its support to the prize.”
|Project city||Architect||Architect’s home city|
|Skanderbeg Square||Urban planning||AL||Tirana||51N4E, Plant en
Houtgoed, Anri Sala, iRI
|Brussels, Tirana, Leuven, Tirana|
|House of Music Innsbruck||Mixed use||AT||Innsbruck||Erich Strolz, Dietrich | Untertrifaller
|Aspern Federal School||Education||AT||Vienna||fasch&fuchs.archite
|Performative Brise- Soleil||Collective
|Residential care center
vylder vinck taillieu
|PC CARITAS||Health||BE||Melle||architecten de
vylder vinck taillieu
|Ryhove Urban Factory||Industrial||BE||Ghent||Trans||Ghent|
|De Krook library||Education||BE||Ghent||Coussée & Goris
architecten, RCR Arquitectes
|Residential and studio building at the former Berlin
|Collective housing||DE||Berlin||Ifau, HEIDE & VON BECKERATH||Berlin, Berlin|
|Terracehouse Berlin||Mixed use||DE||Berlin||Brandlhuber+ Emde, Burlon, Muck Petzet
|Streetmekka Viborg||Sport and
|Hammershus Visitors Centre||Culture||DK||Hammersh us||Arkitema Architects,
|LEGO House||Culture||DK||Billund||BIG - Bjarke Ingels
|Arvo Pärt centre||Culture||EE||Laulasmaa||Nieto Sobejano
|Life Reusing Posidonia/ 14 social dwellings in Sant
|Collective housing||ES||Sant Ferran de ses
|Civic Centre Lleialtat
|Plasencia Auditorium and
|Desert City||Mixed use||ES||Madrid||GARCIAGERMAN
|Solo House||Single house||ES||Matarranya||OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van
|Helsinki Central Library Oodi||Education||FI||Helsinki||ALA Architects Ltd.||Helsinki|
|The Perret Hall - Cultural Centre||Culture||FR||Montataire||Atelier d’architecture Pierre Hebbelinck, HBAAT - HELEEN HART — MATHIEU
|Museum of Arts, Nantes||Culture||FR||Nantes||Stanton Williams
|E26 (school refectory)||Education||FR||Montbrun-
|‘Théodore Gouvy’ Theatre in
|Transformation of 530 dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux||Collective Housing||FR||Bordeaux||Frédéric Druot Architecture, Lacaton & Vassal architectes, Christophe Hutin
|Bordeaux, Paris, Bordeaux|
|Education||FR||Paris||CAB ARCHITECTES (CALORI AZIMI
|St. Mary’s Medieval Mile
|14 Henrietta Street||Culture||IE||Dublin||Shaffrey Architects||Dublin|
|M9 Museum District||Culture||IT||Venice||Sauerbruch Hutton||Berlin|
|Prada productive headquarter||Industry||IT||Arezzo||Canali associati
|Musis Sacrum||Culture||NL||Arnhem||van Dongen – Koschuch Architects and
|Visitor center park Vijversburg||Culture||NL||Leeuwarden||STUDIO MAKS
with the collaboration of Junya Ishigami &
|Silesia University’s Radio and Television department||Education||PL||Katowice||BAAS
arquitectura, Grupa 5 Architekci, Małeccy Biuro
|Barcelona, Warsaw, Katowice|
|Lisbon Cruise Terminal||Infrastruct
|PT||Lisbon||Carrilho da Graça||Lisbon|
|Restoration, refurbishment of the headquarters of the order of architects of Romania.
|Office||RO||Bucharest||STARH - Birou de arhitectura (Florian & Iulia
|RO||Bucharest||ADN Birou de
|Reconstruction of Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade||Culture||RS||Belgrade||nooto, Dejan
|Adaptation of the former