2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture winners announced

Brussels/ Barcelona, 7-6-2013 — /europawire.eu/ —  The winners of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award will be honoured tomorrow. The ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of the Prize and will be held at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. The winners of this year’s main prize are Henning Larsen Architects, Studio Olafur Eliasson and Batteríið Architects for Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland (see IP/13/376). The Emerging Architect Special Mention award goes to María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Nave de Música Matadero (Red Bull Music Academy), which was built to host a music festival in Madrid.

“The ‘story’ behind the Harpa building is inspiring. Started shortly before the economic crisis engulfed Iceland and Europe, the building could easily have become a symbol of collapse. Instead, the government and city of Reykjavik were determined to finish the job. Harpa has become a symbol of hope and renewal, receiving nearly 2 million visitors since its opening in 2011. It is a great example of how investment in the cultural and creative sectors can create jobs and wider economic, social and cultural benefits. I hope the Harpa story will encourage more public and private investors to support the immense talent that we have in European contemporary architecture,” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

Jan Truszczyński, the Commission’s Director General for Education and Culture, and Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, will present the winners with prizes of €60 000 (main award) and €20 000 (emerging architect). The winners will also receive sculptures by the Catalan artist Xavier Corberó.

The ceremony will be followed by the opening of an exhibition, Constructing Europe, 25 Years of Architecture, at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. It features models of 200 of the buildings short-listed for the Prize since 1988, showcasing the breadth and quality of Europe’s contemporary architecture over the past 25 years. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

The Mies van der Rohe Pavilion will also host a debate entitled Breaking New Ground, with contributions from the prize winners, as well as leading architects, critics and students. The speakers include Valéry DidelonRicardo DevesaAnne IsoppVasa Perović and Ibai Rigby. The “Breaking New Ground” debate will continue throughout 2013 and 2014 at European universities and institutions, together with the exhibition.


The architecture sector is at the heart of Europe’s vibrant cultural and creative industries. It directly employs more than half a million people, as well as more than 12 million in the construction sector. Architecture is part of the cultural and creative sectors, which contribute 4.5% to the EU’s GDP.

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award highlights the contribution of European architects to the development of new ideas and technologies in contemporary urban development. Launched in 1987 and co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the prize is the most prestigious in European architecture. It is awarded every other year to works completed within the previous two years. Works nominated for the Prize are put forward by independent experts, as well as by the member associations of the Architects’ Council of Europe, national architects’ associations, and the Advisory Committee for the Prize.

The Prize is named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is regarded as one of the pioneers of 20th century modern architecture. His most celebrated works include the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exhibition, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, the Seagram Building in New York and the National Gallery in Berlin.

As well as recognising excellence, the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe award encourages architects to work beyond their national borders and contribute to building a stronger and more creative Europe, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

The winners were chosen from 335 submitted works in 37 European countries. Five works were shortlisted for the main award. The other finalists were: Market Hall (Ghent, Belgium by Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Marie-José Van Hee architecten); Superkilen (Copenhagen, Denmark by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Superflex, Topotek1); Nursing Home for Elderly People (Alcácer do Sal, Portugal by Aires Mateus Arquitectos) and Metropol Parasol (Seville, Spain by J. Mayer H).

The jury members who selected the finalists for 2013 are: Wiel Arets, Chair of the Jury, Principal, Wiel Arets Architects, Maastricht, Dean, College of Architecture, IIT, Chicago; Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Antón García-Abril, Principal, Ensamble Studio; Louisa Hutton, Principal, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, Berlin; Kent Martinussen, CEO, The Danske Arkitekter Center (DAC), Copenhagen; Frédéric Migaryou, Director, Architecture & Design, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ewa Porebska, Editor-in-Chief, Architektura-murator, Warsaw; Giovanna Carnevali, Secretary of the Jury, Director, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona.

The complete list of 335 works can be downloaded by clicking on the countries below:








Czech Republic




Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)



















Slovak Republic




The Netherlands

Turkey and 

United Kingdom.

To find out more

Commissioner’s video message



Twitter: @VassiliouEU


Facebook: EU Prize for contemporary architecture/ Mies van der Rohe award

Contacts :Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

Mercedes Soler, Gemma Pasqual/ICE (+34 93 215 10 11)

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