The Winners of the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture | Mies van der Rohe Awards were announced today in Brussels.
The 2022 Winner of the Architecture Prize is Grafton Architects, Dublin for the Town House, Kingston University London.
The client is Kingston University and it is rewarded for its remarkable environmental quality that creates an excellent atmosphere for studying, dancing, gathering and being together. The building creates an emotional experience from within and through the multi-level façade colonnade that creates a domestic atmosphere on different levels. It accommodates dance, library and study spaces using layers of silence and layers of sound which work perfectly well together. This is the first time that a university building wins the architecture prize and it shows that there is a need for public educational projects with the quality of this one, which dignifies people’s lives through education and being together and gives the same educational possibilities to everybody.
The authors, Grafton Architects, studio co-founded in 1978 by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, have a strong expertise in educational buildings and two others, were nominated to the 2022 EUmies Awards – Institute Mines Télécom in Paris and Toulouse School of Economics in Toulouse. University Luigi Bocconi in Milan was finalist in 2009.
The 2022 Winner of the Emerging Architecture Prize is the La Borda - Cooperative Housing by Lacol arquitectura cooperativa in Barcelona.
This cooperative project is transgressive in its context because although housing production is mainly dominated by macroeconomic interests, in this case, the model is based on co-ownership and co-management of shared resources and capacities. The model goes beyond the specific project of cooperative housing: the studio is also run as a cooperative where fourteen professionals with different expertise offer a role model and an active tool for promoting political and urban change from within the system, based on social, ecological and economic sustainability.
The 2022 Prize edition is the last edition under which the UK was eligible and therefore the Town House has been able to win. In the funding period 21-27, UK entities are not eligible to participate in EU grants procedures by default, since the UK became a third country with the entry into force of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement signed on 1 February 2020.
The two awarded projects have been chosen from a list of 532 works from 41 countries. Five architecture finalists were selected and visited by the Jury: Z33 House for Art, Architecture and Design in Hasselt; Town House, Kingston University London; the Railway Farm in Paris; 85 social housing units in Cornellà de Llobregat; and Frizz23 in Berlin, accompanied by the authors of the works, the clients or developers, the users and the local experts.
The jury, formed by Tatiana Bilbao, Francesca Ferguson, Mia Hägg, Triin Ojari, Georg Pendl, Spiros Pengas and Marcel Smets, agreed to start the conversations without a pre-established agenda and instead develop an active, involved and open attitude based on dialogue and debate between the different positions of each of the members. The desire shared by the members of the jury from the beginning has been to convey a message to the architectural community, and beyond it, through the choice of the selected group and especially through the group of finalists and winners. The vision is not based on the performance of comparative standards but on the grouping of complementary diversity with high added value as extraordinary contributions in different and specific contexts.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “I congratulate the winners of the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, who have demonstrated the creative and innovative potential of European architecture. It is particularly encouraging to see the contribution of contemporary architecture to improving the well-being of citizens in Europe like we are also doing with the New European Bauhaus.”
The €60,000 biennial prize, which is the most prestigious in European architecture, was launched in 1987 to highlight the contribution of European architects to the development of new ideas and technologies in contemporary urban development. It is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe.
The EUmies Awards Day that includes the awards ceremony, will take place on 12 May at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona in the context of Model. Barcelona Architectures Festival.