The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced the finalists for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009, one of the most important and prestigious prizes for international architecture. By supporting the Prize, the European Commission underlines the role of architecture as a driver for creativity and innovation and draws attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas and technologies.
The finalists are:
• Multimodal Centre – Nice Tramway, Nice (France) by Marc Barani / Atelier Marc Barani
• Zenith Music Hall, Strasbourg (France) by Massimiliano Fuksas, Doriana Fuksas / Massimiliano Fuksas Architecture
• University Luigi Bocconi, Milan (Italy) by Shelley McNamara, Yvonne Farrell / Grafton Architects
• The Norwegian Opera & Ballet, Oslo (Norway) by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers / Snøhetta
• Library, Senior Citizens’ Centre and City Block Core Zone, Sant Antoni’s District, Barcelona (Spain) by Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilalta / RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta Arquitectes
The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr. Ján Figel’ said: “Each of the projects selected today show that investing in European architectural talent, in creativity and innovation pays off. Stimulating new ideas and highlighting entrepreneurial efforts are also a key part of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. I am particularly pleased to see that the series of lectures about these finalist projects will be given by the architects themselves in Barcelona on April 22, in order to reach out to broader audiences. The winner of the Mies van der Rohe Award will be announced later on May.”
The finalists were selected from 340 projects proposed by the Architects’ Council of Europe member associations, other national architectural associations and the Advisory Committee. The Jury, chaired by Francis Rambert includes: Ole Bouman, Irena Fialová, Fulvio Irace, Luis M. Mansilla, Carme Pinós and Vasa J. Perović.
Francis Rambert, Chair of the Jury said today: “We were impressed by the quality of the selected projects, many of which explore important urban issues of infrastructure and regeneration, developing new typologies. Ranging widely in scale, each responds imaginatively to its particular context and brief.”
Previous winners include, among others, Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon, Zaha Hadid, Dominique Perrault, Peter Zumthor, Rafael Moneo, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Lord Foster and Luis M. Mansilla – Emilio Tuñón.
The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009, funded through the EU Culture Programme, is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years. The Jury also awards a Special Mention for an emerging architect.
A traveling exhibition on the Prize Winner, Emerging Architect Special Mention, Finalists and Shortlisted Works is planned for September this year.
The EU Culture Programme also funds the European Border Breakers Awards, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage and the forthcoming European Union Prize for Literature.