On 16 February 2022, at the EU Mies Award exhibition in Warsaw’s Zodiak Pavilion, the European Commission and Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced the finalists for the 2022 Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Union Award for Contemporary Architecture. The seven selected projects are built on the basis of principles of sustainability, choosing construction techniques and materials carefully, providing examples which the jury say “ennoble” the space we live in and use.
The five finalists in the “Architecture” category are:
“85 Social Housing Units” in Cornellà de Llobregat, designed by peris+toral.arquitectes, who chose timber as their principal material to add to the quality of the construction while cutting construction time and CO2 emissions. The floorplans on various different levels are based on a matrix of communicating rooms, with no corridors, making optimal use of the available space on each floor and ensuring great flexibility in the use of space.
Frizz23 in Berlin, by Deadline (Britta Jürgens + Matthew Griffin), is a pioneering project that will serve as a model for other cities. The cultural and commercial spaces in the project were created through innovative participatory processes, in a project proposing a new approach to urban development in which the architects work in continuous dialogue with users, the neighbourhood and the city.
Ferme du Rail by Grand Huit and Mélanie Drevet Paysagiste in Paris is a complex combining urban agriculture with solidarity. Based on principles of sustainability and the circular economy, the complex includes an unheated greenhouse, a restaurant, a mushroom-growing cave and a permaculture garden, as well as social housing units for vulnerable people and student housing units.
The Town House at London’s Kingston University, designed by Grafton Architects, is inspired by a progressive vision of education in which different spaces and uses interlock beneath a tall colonnade that wraps around the complex, providing it with visibility in its surroundings and balancing the urban and human scales.
“Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture” in Hasselt, Belgium, designed by Italian architect Francesca Torzo, interacts with the existing buildings in the old Beguine convent and reflects their introverted character, with its walls almost entirely sealed on the side facing the street but open onto the garden.
The two finalists in the “Emerging Architecture” category are:
Enrico Fermi School in Turin, designed by BDR bureau, transforming a school building constructed in the 1960s to give the city a “community school”, an example that could be replicated in other settings to modernise Italy’s existing schools.
La Borda – Cooperative Housing in Barcelona, by Lacol, is a self-organised development for accessing non-speculative housing with a minimal environmental impact and low energy consumption, both during construction and throughout the lifespan of the homes.
The judges of the EU Mies Award will visit the seven projects in the month of March, and the winners in both categories will be announced by the end of April. The awards ceremony, accompanied by debates and an exhibition of the finalist projects, will take place on 12 May 2022 in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.
Images courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe - EU Mies Award and architects
85 Social Housing Units in Cornellà photo by José Hevia (03-04)
Frizz 23 photo by Matthew Griffin (05-06)
Railway Farm photo by Myr Muratet (07-08)
Town House – Kingston University photo by Ed Reeve (09) and Dennis Gilbert (10)
Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture photo by Gion Balthasar Von Albertini (11-12)
Enrico Fermi School photo by Simone Bossi (13-14)
La Borda - Cooperative Housing photo © Institut Municipal de l'Habitatge i Rehabilitació de Barcelona (15-16)