The European Commission announced the Neues Museum in Berlin as the winner of the 2011 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award. The building is a reconstruction, blending old and new, by UK architect Sir David Chipperfield. The 'Emerging Architect Special Mention' award goes to Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro for the Collage House in Girona, Spain. The award ceremony will take place on June 20 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "My congratulations to our winners who have created two exceptional buildings. The Neues Museum brings the past and present together in a stunning mix of contemporary architecture, restoration and art. The Collage House in Girona is another remarkable renovation which fuses old and new materials in a harmonious whole."
The original Neues Museum, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, was built in the mid-19th century. The building was severely damaged in the Second World War and reconstruction began in 2003, with the aim of restoring the site to its former glory. David Chipperfield, who worked on the project with fellow British architect Julian Harrap, adopted a dynamic approach in his restoration. Rather than attempting to conceal the difference between the old and new elements, the past and present are beautifully combined to create an unforgettable building with multiple layers.
David Chipperfield, Principal of David Chipperfield Architects, said: “The reconstruction of the Neues Museum is a testament to the collaborative process undertaken in a demanding climate of public opinion. The result is evidence not only of the efforts of the professional team but of the commitment of the client and the city authorities to engage in this rigorous and articulated process.”
Mohsen Mostafavi, chair of the jury, said: “The rebuilding of the Neues Museum is an extraordinary achievement. Rarely have an architect and client succeeded in undertaking a work of such historic importance and complexity; especially one that involves both preservation and new building. The project raises and addresses many aesthetic, ethical, and technical issues. It is an exemplary demonstration of what collaboration can achieve in the context of contemporary European architectural practice.”
Lluís Hortet, director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, said: “The decision of the jury was an extraordinary challenge due to the high quality of all the finalists' projects. The Neues Museum by David Chipperfield is a very important statement of how a contemporary architectural intervention contributes to the re-use of our heritage by improving its functional qualities and introducing outstandingly designed new architectorial elements for its museological purpose.”
Six works were shortlisted for the Prize.
The other finalists were:
- Bronks Youth Theatre (Brussels, Belgium, designed by Martine De Maeseneer, Dirk Van den Brande);
- MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome, Italy, by Zaha Hadid, Patrick Schumacher, Gianluca Racana);
- Concert House Danish Radio (Copenhagen, Denmark, by Jean Nouvel);
- Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece, by Bernard Tschumi) and
- Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal (Arnhem, The Netherlands, by Koen van Velsen).
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