The standout projects of one of the world’s most significant architectural honors, The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture/Mies van der Rohe Award, are the subject of the new exhibition Europe's best Buildings which opened in Vienna, Austria today.
A spectacular transformation of three 1960s housing blocks in Bordeaux, France was selected last year as the main winner of the biennial award, and four other projects in Belgium, Spain, Germany, and Albania reached finalist spots.
The forty buildings shortlisted from 383 projects nominated from 36 European nations — all projects are conversions of or additions to existing buildings — can now be inspected up-close until October 12th at the Architekturzentrum Wien.
"The Covid-19 crisis is clearly showing the importance of good housing developments, along with new combinations of living and working and a city of short distances with functioning neighborhoods and generous public spaces," reads the exhibition's announcement. "Although the current edition of the biennial EU Mies van der Rohe Award was awarded by the jury in 2019, its architectural responses to pressing social issues could not be more topical."
"The main prize has been awarded to a ground-breaking housing project: a radical transformation of three apartment blocks from the 1960s in Bordeaux by architects Lacaton & Vassal in collaboration with Frédéric Druot and Christophe Hutin. In the words of one resident, the addition of ‘instant winter gardens’ lends the 530 social housing units ‘the spatial generosity of villas’ — whereby the architectural extension also functions as a buffer zone, replacing conventional façade insulation."
"Among the projects to have reached the finals that have more extensive presentations in the exhibition is the Lobe Block Terrace House in Berlin (DE) by Brandlhuber+ Emde, Burlon and Muck Petzet Architects, a radical example of an open-use architectural structure where the fusion of private and public space becomes a living experiment."
"For the PC Caritas project, a pavilion in a psychiatric clinic in Melle, Belgium, de vylder vinck taillieu are realising the conversion of a ruin into a multi-story public open space."
"The Placencia Auditorium and Congress Centre in Plasencia (ES) by selgascano presents itself as an optimistic entity in a structurally weak region. What resembles a chimera between appearance and reality on passing by becomes a versatile place for cultural and social activities on entering."
"[...] in Tirana (AL), 51N4E in collaboration with Anri Sala have broken the burdening monumentality of the communist architecture by redesigning the central Skanderbeg Square. In doing so, the architects work both with a relational elevation of the human perspective when crossing and using the plaza, and with the ‘cosy’ fraying of its edges."
"The Emerging Architect Prize has been awarded to BAST from Toulouse for the conversion and extension of a village school in Montbrun-Bocage (FR). The new cafeteria frames the intimacy of the schoolyard while opening up a view of the idyllic rural surroundings."
Comment as :