The biannual European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award it is usually assigned to the best European architecture project completed within the past two years. However, 2022 edition will consider works from the past 2 years and a half, since the pandemic has delayed the award.
The majority of the shortlisted works includes collective housing projects, cultural buildings and mixed-use buildings. The jury, this year, looked in particular at sustainability and inclusivity. In this regard, the architect and member of the jury Marcel Smets said: “One of the main elements in architectural sustainability is the long life of buildings. If we build new buildings, we must envision their next life, allow their next life. […] The pandemic has further changed our view on architecture and how we live. I personally think it is extremely important to highlight something whereby collective life is central and, maybe, where there is also some sense of local in it. Not only the global but also the local, because people have recently rediscovered the importance of their close environment”.
Austria, France and Spain have five shortlisted projects each, follow Belgium and Germany with three; Denmark, Finland, Poland and Portugal two; and the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania and Slovenia have one project each. Despite the Brexit, the projects located in the United Kingdom are currently still on the shortlist, as are two in the EU designed by UK studios, but they are no longer eligible for the award.
Among the 40 shortlisted projects for this edition there are David Chipperfield Architects’ renovation of the Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin; Petr Jandr's revitalisation of the Prague waterfront; Kingston University’s town house in London by Grafton Architects; a memorial park by NArchitekTURA on the former site of the Great Synagogue of Oświęcim, the Polish city where the Auschwitz concentration camp was located, on the site of a former synagogue; and a visitor centre by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter.
The five finalists will be announced on 16 February, with the architecture and emerging winners revealed in mid-April. The awards ceremony will take place at the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion in May.
Opening image: Neue Nationalgalerie, view from Potsdamer Straße, Berlin, Germany. Courtesy of Mies van der Rohe Award/David Chipperfield Architects. Photo Simone Menges