Mies van der Rohe prize finalists revealed 25.02.15

  • Antinori Winery, Florence, Italy, by Archea Associati: Surrounded by the vineyard-covered hills of Chianti, this building was designed to merge with its landscape to emphasis the close relationship that the wine industry has with nature

  • Danish Maritime Museum, Helsingør, Denmark, by BIG: Bjarke Ingels’ 5,000sq m subterranean museum in Denmark is the culmination of a 15-year vision and a masterplan to restore Helsingør’s old shipbuilding harbour

  • Philarmonic Hall Szczecin, Poland, by Barozzi Veiga: An austere glass façade, illuminated from the inside, contrasts with the building gold-leaf-covered interior, which houses a symphony hall for 1,000 spectators

  • LSE student centre, London, UK, by O’Donnell + Tuomey: Winner of this year’s RIBA Gold Medal, Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey designed this red-brick building on a narrow site in the heart of London to fit with its surroundings

  • Ravensburg Art Museum, Germany, by Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei: This art museum is located in a historically significant part of town. The German practice used recycled brickwork to create a connection between the old buildings and the new structure

Bjarke Ingels Group and O'Donnell and Tuomey are among the five practices in the running for the €60,000 award for European architecture

Buildings by Bjarke Ingels and O'Donnell and Tuomey are among the five finalists for the 2015 Mies van der Rohe award for European contemporary architecture, which were revealed today at Europe House in London.

The five buildings in the running for the biennial prize are the Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør, Denmark, by Bjarke Ingels Group; the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics by O'Donnell + Tuomey; Ravensburg Art Museum in Germany by Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei; the Antinori Winery in Florence, Italy, by Archea Associati; and the Philarmonic Hall Szczecin in Poland by Barozzi Veiga.

The winning building will be announced on 8 May 2015 in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona and its architect will receive a €60,000 prize. A runner-up will receive €20,000. The previous winners of the award include David Chipperfield, Zaha Hadid, OMA, Snohetta, Peter Zumthor and Norman Foster.

Announcing the finalists, jury member and head of awards at the RIBA Tony Chapman described the process of whittling down the list of 420 nominees, which came from 36 countries – and 279 cities – across the European continent. "The final five [buildings] represent in their own specific terms all the sensibility that contemporary European architecture shows in responding to the complexity of this rich and diverse society," he said.

When making their decision, Chapman said, the jurors were conscious that the nominated schemes were conceived at a time of economic crisis and paid attention to how design strategies had responded to these conditions. "One positive to have come out of the crisis is that there was a lot more attention paid to creative reuse – issues such as longevity, flexibility over time, true sustainability. We also saw more inventiveness with the brief and budget," he said. "Architecture may be better off for the crisis, even if architects are not."

He added that the jurors detected a growing architectural maturity in nations with smaller populations or those that had evolved from oppressive regimes a quarter of a century ago.

The nominated buildings were all completed within the past two years but were not limited by size, with entries ranging from private homes to large-scale infrastructure schemes. Nominations were made by independent bodies, such as the member associations of the Architects Council of Europe and other European national architects associations rather than by the practices themselves.

Of this year's entries, 27% were housing projects, 24% were cultural facilities, 11% were connected to education and 5% were offices. The rest were a mix of sport, commercial, governmental, transport and urban schemes.

The jurors hailed from China, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Spain and the UK. For the first time this year, the panel included a client, Hansjörg Mölk, chief executive of supermarket chain MPreis, whose stores have been shortlisted for the Mies van der Rohe prize in previous year. The jurors will visit all the finalist projects before making their decision.

Do you agree with the final shortlist? Which of the practices do you think should win? Do you agree with Tony Chapman – that architecture is better off after the financial crisis? Tell us using the comment facility below

 

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Debika Ray

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Architecture may be better off for the crisis, even if architects are not

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