Exhibiting the EU Mies Award

John Hill
14. May 2022
Model detail of Town House – Kingston University by Grafton Architects, the 2022 EU Mies Award Winner. (All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects)
The two trophies going to the Architecture Winner were on display at the entrance to the exhibition; both are modeled on the steel sections o Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion.
The exhibition was held at Espai Serrahima – Esklandestino, an event space in a former factory not far from the Barcelona Pavilion. The exhibition will travel to Landeshaus Köln in June, Bozar in Brussels in July, and additional cities (TBD) in the fall and beyond.
Town House – Kingston University by Grafton Architects is the first university building to win the EU Mies Award. The building houses a library and dance studios for the London university.
The model of the facade and front section of the Town House, as in the top photo, emphasizes the unique program, the accessible nature of the project, as well as the literal nature that is along the sidewalk and will cover parts of the facade.
The 2022 Emerging Architecture Winner is a local building: La Borda cooperative housing by Lacol, a cooperative architecture studio that is located in the same neighborhood, La Bordeta.
The cutaway model of La Borda emphasizes the full-height atrium that provides a sense of community for the 28 units and also plays an integral role in the natural ventilation and passive/heating cooling of the building.
One of the finalists for the Architecture Award is similar to La Borda: 85 Social Housing Units in Cornellà by peris+toral.arquitectes is another housing project in Barcelona that also features mass-timber construction.
The CLT walls are organized in a regular grid that provides generous rooms (3.6 meters square) for living, kitchen, and bedroom spaces, and eliminates corridors in favor of a matrix of communicating rooms.
An emphasis on socially oriented projects selected as finalists by the jury chaired by Tatiana Bilbao continues with The Railway Farm in Paris, designed by Grand Huit and Melanie Drevet Paysagiste as a winner of one of the "Réinventer Paris" call for projects.
Located on the edge of a former railway that surrounds Paris, the Railway Farm has facilities to produce compost as well as housing for homeless individuals who work on-site; other functions in the project are related to agriculture and social reintegration.
Like the bottom-up planning of The Railway Farm, Frizz 23 is a cooperative for cultural commercial space that won Berlin’s first concept based public land sales procedure; it was designed by Deadline Architects, who also developed the project.
Although the project was commended by the jury primarily for its unique development process and program, the building has a distinctive silhouette that is meant to express the project's mixed-use program and co-op structure.
The only museum among the finalists is the Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture in Hasselt, Belgium, whose extension was designed by Francesca Torzo.
The extension melds with the existing to create a labyrinth of spaces behind a primarily blank brick wall facing the street and a rear facade with windows looking on to a generous courtyard; the model captures the series of rooms and quiet nature of the architecture.
The Emerging Architecture finalist is BDR bureau's renovation and extension of the Enrico Fermi School, an unexceptional 1960s school located in Turin, Italy.
The architects added new steel structures that can be used as terraces, learning spaces, or for recreation. The new terraces and rearticulated existing facades merge to give the school a cohesive architectural expression on the exterior.
World-Architects is Strategic Partner of the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

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