The winners of the 6th edition of the European Award Architectural Heritage Intervention

Fernando Menis, Jornet Llop Pastor Arquitectes, David Chipperfield, Elodie Degavre,

Pedro Pegenaute, Adrià Goula, Michiel Vergauwe, Jon Tugores/Ajuntament de Barcelona, Simona Rota, Hisao Suzuki, Jon Tugores, Simon Menges,

Berlin, Germany, Barcelona, Spain, Santa Cruz de Tenerife,

Architecture and Culture,

Landscaping, Refurbishment, Masterplan,

Aware of the importance of interventions on pre-existing architectures as a sustainable act, the international jury of the 6th edition of the European Award Architectural Heritage Intervention (AHI) recognised, in the various categories, projects focused on inclusiveness in social housing and urban cultural structures.

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The winners of the 6th edition of the European Award Architectural Heritage Intervention
The European Award Architectural Heritage Intervention is a biennial event organised by the Barcelona-based AHI (Architectural Heritage Intervention) platform and the Order of Architects of Catalonia (COAC). It is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Catalonia, the City of Barcelona and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Now in its 6th edition, 241 projects were presented by architectural firms from 28 European countries, the highest number of applications seen so far. A positive and important sign that demonstrates just how much the awareness of recovering and adapting pre-existing architectures rather than demolishing and rebuilding has consolidated. 55% of the projects come from studios that participated for the first time, underlining once again the extent to which the Award has become a reference point for architectural restoration in Europe.

In the Built Heritage category, the jury awarded the renovation of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, one of the most important examples of the modern movement created in 1968 by Mies van der Rohe and the only work completed by the architect in Europe after emigrating to the United States. The project was created by David Chipperfield’s architectural firm, the last Pritzker winner, and involved the complete renovation of the reinforced concrete shell, as well as the adaptation of the technical systems. The result illustrates how it was possible to reconcile the interventions with the conservation of as much original substance as possible, in order not to compromise the architecture without, however, sacrificing a certain readability of the contemporary elements.

The winning entry in the Exterior Spaces category is the ecological restoration of the garden of the El Tanque Cultural Space in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Architect Fernando Menis worked on the exterior of the old tank of the first refinery in Tenerife – a protected heritage since 2014 – and its elements, with a design gesture that combines pre-existing elements with nature and recycling. The banana garden is a direct reference to the agricultural landscape prior to industrialisation, showcasing the city as the coexistence of different times, cultures and nuances of sensitivity to restore a sense of cultural continuity and belonging. Here, we find 700 trees and plants, as well as lighting and furnishings designed and built using waste.

In the Urban Planning category, the prize was awarded to the project for the regeneration of Barcelona’s Gràcia neighbourhood, carried out by the Jornet Llop Pastor Arquitectes studio, in collaboration with the Department of Urban Planning of the City of Barcelona. The jury praised the winning project for its “innovative proposal for addressing the challenges of contemporaneity, climate change and social inclusivity through affordable housing within the historical context of its location.” Because in this case, special attention has also been paid to the conservation of the urban structure, proposing an urban planning regulation strategy that incorporates the environmental dimension.

Finally, in the Disclosure category, the winning film is “La vie en kit”, produced by the Belgian architect and director Elodie Degavre . A leap into the past that becomes a lesson for the future, as the film tells the story of how four architects in the 1970s thought about the houses of the future, creating eclectic projects in Brussels, Charleroi and Liège, with the aim of placing the inhabitants and their needs at the centre of the construction process. A way of understanding architecture that has gained relevance today, according to the jury of the European Award Architectural Heritage Intervention, composed of Dikkie Scipio, Susana Valbuena and Kimmo Lintula. 

This year, the prize also included two Special Mentions, chosen from among all the projects presented: one for Restoration, which was awarded to the restoration project of the Gruuthusemuseum in Bruges, Belgium, carried out by the B-Juxta Architecten studio; and a newly created one, the New European Bauhaus, which the jury awarded to two projects: that of 34 emergency social housing units in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, created by the MIM-A studio (Mariona Benedito and Martí Sanz), and the Master Plan for the integrated restoration of the Las Flores neighbourhood in A Coruña, a project by the Territoris XLM studio and BCQ Arquitectura.
Congratulations to all the winners and especially to this award format, as a catalyst and observatory of the new challenges that the globalisation of contemporary architecture adds to the conservation and intervention on our building heritage.

Christiane Bürklein

5th edition of the European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention
Photos: see captions
0) El Tanque, Fernando Menis, ph. Simona Rota
1) Neue Nationalgalerie, David Chipperfield Architects, ph. Simon Menges
2) Teixit historic de Gracia, Jornet Llop Pastor Arquitectesph. Jon Tugores
3) Sant Feliu de Llobregat, MIM, ph. Adrià Goula
4) Gruuthusemuseum, B-juxta architecten, ph. Michiel Vergauwe
5) La vie en kit, Elodie Degavre
6) El Tanque, Fernando Menis, ph. Hisao Suzki
7) Teixit historic de Gracia, Jornet Llop Pastor Arquitectes, ph. Pedro Pegenaute
8) Neue Nationalgalerie, David Chipperfield Architects, ph. Simon Menges
9) Sant Feliu de Llobregat, MIM, ph. Adrià Goula
10) Masterplan Territoris XLM_BCQ arquitectura
For additional information: https://eu-architecturalheritage.org/en/european-award


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