The nominations for the European Museum of the Year Award

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Sauerbruch Hutton, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, Kengo Kuma,

Adam Mørk, Alessandra Chemollo, Roland Halbe, Hufton+Crow,

Ribe, Denmark, Mestre, Italia, Graz, Austria, Dundee, Scotland, UK,



The European Museum of the Year Award, assigned every year by the Council of Europe, is contested by recently opened museums or museums that have been extended or renovated in the last two years. The winner’s name will be revealed in spring 2020, but when scrolling through the list of the museums in the running, we come across some of the architectures presented in the pages of Floornature, such as the Wadden Sea Centre in Denmark, the M9 Museum in Italy and the V&A Dundee in Scotland.

The nominations for the European Museum of the Year Award

M9, the Museum of the 20th Century created in Mestre, Italy by Sauerbruch Hutton, studio, but also the Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe, Denmark, designed by Dorte Mandrup, not to mention the V&A Dundee designed by Kengo Kuma, are some of the museums in the running for the 43rd edition of the EMYA, or European Museum of the Year Awards. An annual award assigned by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Council of Europe, based on the decision of a jury appointed by the European Museum Forum.
The award was established in 1977 by journalist Kenneth Hudson and Richard Hoggart, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, to encourage and promote the creation of excellence in the museum sector by the use of innovative practices, exhibits and services. The candidates for the award represent a wide range of museum types and hail from many different countries. The projects selected are all museums that have opened recently or been extended/renovated in the last two years. They are assessed based on certain key qualities such as innovation, quality and accessibility. During the conference and award ceremony, the candidates are invited to present their museums, and the winner is presented with the trophy: The Egg, a sculpture by artist Henry Moore, which the museum will keep for a year.
The names of the winners of the European Museum of the Year Awards 2020 and the related awards will be announced during the Annual Conference of the Forum of European Museums, set to take place in the National Museum Cardiff on May 2nd, 2020. The list of the museums selected led us back to rediscover some interesting architectures, such as the Wadden Sea Centre in Denmark, the M9 Museum in Italy, the V&A Dundee in Scotland, the extension of the Landesmuseum in Zurich, the MO Museum in Vilnius, the Open Air museum in Arnhem, and the Joanneumsviertel in Graz.

Architect Dorte Mandrup was the author of the design for the transformation of the Wadden Sea Centre in Ribe, Denmark. The new museum tells the story of the Wadden Sea and the cycle of migratory birds, but it doesn’t stop there, also focusing on how the locals have developed the area. Indeed, the architecture designed by Dorte Mandrup favors local construction materials and traditional techniques.

The V&A Dundee designed by Kengo Kuma is the first design history museum in Scotland. Its stark structure evokes the staunch cliffs of the north eastern coast of Scotland, sculpted by the elements, but inside the museum presents itself as an open space, and a new salon for the city. One year since its opening, the museum has achieved important results both in its own visitor flow and in the flow of tourists to the Scottish city.

M9, the Multimedia Museum of the 20th Century designed by the Sauerbruch Hutton studio in Mestre is not just a museum but an urban redevelopment project. Indeed, the museum is a bridge that links to the city’s past, by recovering two pre-existing elements: a former convent from the late 16th century and a 1970s business center, becoming the centerpiece of the urban fabric renovation project.

The Joanneumsviertel designed by the Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos studio in Graz is another project designed on an urban scale. The museum is an underground building that connects two historic monuments, the regional Library of Styria and the Kunsthaus, at the same time becoming a meeting place for the city.

(Agnese Bifulco)


Wadden Sea Centre, Ribe Denmark
Architects: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter www.dortemandrup.dk
Photographs: Adam Mørk

V&A Dundee, Scotland UK
Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates kkaa.co.jp
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

M9 Museo multimediale del 900, Mestre - Italy
Architects: Sauerbruch Hutton www.sauerbruchhutton.de
Photographs: Alessandra Chemollo © Polymnia Venezia

Joanneumsviertel, Graz - Austria
Architects: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos www.nietosobejano.com
Photographs: Roland Halbe


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