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ObjectivesBackgroundHow the Prize WorksRules

The principal objectives are to recognise and commend excellence in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new concepts and technologies. The Prize also sets out to promote the profession by encouraging architects working throughout the entire European Union and by supporting young architects as they set off on their careers.

For each edition, the Jury selects from among nominations submitted by the member associations of the Architects’ Council of Europe and the other European architects’ associations, a group of experts and the Advisory Committee a single work to be granted the Prize and a single work to be granted the Special Mention, both for their excellence in conceptual, technical and constructive terms. The Jury also makes a selection of shortlisted works to be presented in the catalogue and travelling exhibition.

The nominated works are not limited by scale or programme. The selection of the Jury for each edition has included private homes and public housing; museums and cultural installations; educational, health and sports facilities; as well large-scale infrastructure projects and transport systems. The common denominator is that these works all contribute to the construction of the European city. In this sense, the Prize aspires to be a platform for investigation, development and implementation of sustainable architectural practice that promotes the social, cultural and economic benefits of sustainable growth.

The Prize consists of 60.000 € and the Special Mention consists of 20.000 € with both receiving a sculpture that evokes the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion of Barcelona – the symbol for this Prize: excellence and innovation in conceptual and constructive terms.

The Pavilion

Mies was a young up-and-coming architect in Berlin when he was commissioned to design the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. The building was the scenario for the meeting between King Alfonso XIII and the German authorities as part of the inaugural events. Although the Pavilion was dismantled after the exhibition ended, its memory lived on in a series of black and white photos of the period. Despite its rather short lifespan, over time it came to be regarded as one of the most important buildings in 20th-century architecture.

In 1959 Oriol Bohigas wrote to Mies with a proposal to rebuild the pavilion. Although Mies was in favour of its reconstruction, at that time the political and cultural climate in Spain was decidedly unfavourable and it was not until 1980 that Bohigas was able to set the project in motion as head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Hall. It was not an easy task. But thanks to the intensive research and tenacity of the architects in charge – Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos – and to the invaluable collaboration of Arthur Drexler and the MoMA Mies van der Rohe Archive, building got under way on the original site on Montjuïc in 1983, and the reconstruction of the Pavilion was completed in 1986.

The Prize

The idea for a prize that would recognise and commend excellence in European architecture was proposed to the European Parliament by MP Xavier Rubert de Ventós. On April 28 1987 – just under a year after the reconstruction of the Pavilion was completed – an agreement was signed between European Commissioner Carlo Ripa di Meana and Barcelona Mayor Pasqual Maragall to launch the ‘Mies van der Rohe Award of the European Communities’, with the first biennial edition being held in 1988 as the ‘Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture’.

In 2000 the Fundació Mies van der Rohe submitted the model of the Mies van der Rohe Award – with the addition of the Emerging Architect Special Mention that recognises the work of young professionals starting out on their careers – in response to the call for proposals by the European Commission for the ‘European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture’. Upon acceptance of the Fundació’s proposal, in 2001, the Mies van der Rohe Award became the official architecture prize of the European Union.

How the Prize works

Rather than an event that happens every two years, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is a continuous process focused on how architects are thinking and working in Europe today.

For each two-year period proposals are submitted for the Jury’s consideration by a group of independent experts, the member associations of the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE), the other European national architects’ associations and the Advisory Committee. The Jury members meet on two occasions. In their first session they focus on the evaluation of all the nominated works and making a selection of shorlisted and finalist works. They visit the finalist works and immediately afterwards in their second meeting they make their decisions about the Prize Winner and theEmerging Architect Special Mention.

The award process culminates in a catalogue publication and travelling exhibition that features the works chosen by the Jury – the Prize Winner, Special Mention, the finalists and the shortlisted works. All of the works nominated are available for consultation on the Prize database, transforming each edition into a biennial anthology of some of the best work being constructed in Europe.

Organisational Network

The Prize has been a collective project from its inception. The organisational network has been growing with each successive edition and includes the collaboration of the institutions that form part of the Steering Committe, who are co-organisers and the Advisory Committee, the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) member associations and other European architects’ associations, who are partners in the organisation of the Prize.

Steering Committee

Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna
Dansk Arkitektur Center, Copenhagen
Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt
Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona
Institut français d’architecture, Paris
Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Rotterdam
RIBA, London
Triennale di Milano, Milan

Advisory Committee Members

arc en rêve centre d’architecture, Bordeaux
Architecture Foundation, London
Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna
Arkitekturmuseet, Stockholm
Arkkitehtuurimuseo, Helsinki
CIVA Brussels
Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen
DESSA, Ljubljana
Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt
Eesti Arhitektuurimuuseum, Tallinn
Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona
Institut français d’architecture, Paris
Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arkitektur og Design, Oslo
Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Rotterdam
RIBA, London
The Berlage, Delft
Triennale di Milano, Milan

Architects Council of Europe (ACE) Members
Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineers
bAIK, Bundeskammer der Architekten und Ingenieurkonsulenten, Austria

Royal Federation of Societies of Architects in Belgium
FAB, Fédération Royale des Sociétés d'Architectes de Belgique, Belgium
FAB, Koninklijke Federatie van de Architectenverenigingen van Belgïe, Belgium
National Council of the College of Architects
CNOA, Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes, Belgium

UAB, Union of Architects in Bulgaria
САБ, Съюз на архитектите в България, Bulgaria
CAB, Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria
КАБ, Камарата на архитектите в България, Bulgaria
CAA, Croatian Architects' Association

UHA, Udruženje Hrvatskih Arhitekata, Croatia
CAA, Cyprus Architects Association

Σύλλογος Αρχιτεκτόνων Κύπρου, Cyprus

CCA, Czech Chamber of Architects
ČKA, Česká komora architektů, Czech Republic

Danish Architects’ Association
AA Akademisk Arkitektforening, Denmark
Danish Association of Architectural Firms
Danske Arkitektvirksomheder, Denmark

UEA, Union of Estonian Architects
EAL, Eesti Arhitektide Liit, Estonia

SAFA, Finnish Association of Architects
SAFA, Suomen Arkkitehtiliitto | Finlands Arkitektförbund, Finland

French Union of Architects’ Trade Unions
UNSFA, Union Nationale des Syndicats Français d'Architectes, France
International Council of French Architects
CIAF, Conseil International des Architectes Français, France
Architecture Trade Union
Syndicat de l’Architecture, France
National Council of the Association of Architects
CNOA, Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes, France

Association of Independent Architects Germany
VFA, Vereinigung Freischaffender Architekten Deutschlands, Germany
Association of German builders, architects and engineers
BdB, Bund Deutscher Baumeister, Architekten und Ingenieure, Germany
Alliance of German Architects
BDA, Bund Deutscher Architekten, Germany
Federal Chamber of Architects
BAK, Bundesarchitektenkammer, Germany

TEE-TCG, Technical Chamber of Greece
TEE, Τεχνικό Επιμελητήριο Ελλάδας, Greece
SADAS-PEA, Association of Graduate Architects - National Association of Architects
Σ.Α.Δ.Α.Σ. - Π.Ε.Α., Συλλογοσ Αρχιτεκτονων Διπλωματουχων Ανωτατων Σχολων - Πανελληνια Ενωση Αρχιτεκτονων, Greece

Chamber of Hungarian Architects
MÉK, Magyar Építész Kamara, Hungary

RIAI, Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Ireland

CNAPPC, National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Curators
CNAPPC, Consiglio Nazionale Degli Architetti, Planificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori, Italia

LAA, Latvia Association of Architects
LAS, Latvijas Arhitektu savienības, Latvia

AAL, Architects Association of Lithuania
LAS, Lietuvos architektų sąjunga, Lithuania

OAI, Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers
OAI, Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils, Luxembourg

KTP, House of the Architect
KTP, Kamra tal-Periti, Malta

Association of Consulting Architechts in Norway
Arkitektbedriftene i Norge, Norway
NAL, National Association of Norwegian Architects
NAL, Norske arkitekters landsforbunds

Polish Chamber of Architects
IARP, Izba Architektów Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Poland
Union of Polish Architects
Stowarzyszenie Architektów Polskich, Poland
Association of Architects

Ordem dos Arquitectos, Portugal

OAR, Chamber of Romanian Architects
OAR, Ordinul Arhitecților din Romania, Romania

Slovak Chamber of Architects
SKA, Slovenská komora architektov, Slovakia

ZAPS, Chamber of Architecture and Environmental Planning of Slovenia
ZAPS, Zbornica za arhitekturo in prostor Slovenije, Slovenia

CSCAE, Higher Council of Architects in Spain
CSCAE, Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España , Spain

SAR, Swedish Association of Architects
SAR, Svenska Arkitekters Riksförbund, Sweden

BNA, Royal Institute of Dutch Architects
BNA, Bond van Nederlandse Architecten, The Netherlands
Architect Register Office
Bureau Architectenregister, The Netherlands

CAT, Chamber of Architects of Turkey
TMMOB Mimarlar Odası, Turkey

ARB, Architect’s Registration Board, United Kingdom
RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects, United Kingdom

Architects Council of Europe (ACE) Observer Members

Association of Architects of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Asocijacija Arhitekata u Bosni u Hercegovini, Bosnia and Herzegovina

AAM, Association of Architects of Macdedonia
AAM, Асоцијација на архитекти на Македонија, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Other European Architects Associations
Albanian Architects Association
AAA, Shoqata e Arkitekteve të Shqipërisë, Albania

Architects of Iceland
Arkitektafélag Íslands, Iceland

Liechtenstein Engineers and Architects Association
Liechtensteinische Ingenieur-und Architektenvereinigung, Liechtenstein

Association of Architects of Montenegro, Montenegro

Association of Architects of Belgrade
Društvo Arhitekata Beograda, Serbia


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