Five finalists have been announced for this year’s Mies van der Rohe Award, a biannual award which recognises the best piece of European architecture completed in the past two years.
Finalists include Skanderbeg Square by 51N4E, PC Caritas by Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Terracehouse Berlin by Brandlhuber + Emde, Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre by SelgasCano, and Transformation of 530 dwellings by Frederic Druot Architecture, Lacaton & Vassal Architectes and Christophe Hutin Architecture.
Skanderbeg Square by 51N4E - Albania
Image credit: 51N4E
51N4E has reorganised Tirana's central square, a vast ex-communist space. The square presents itself as a void in the chaos of the city, a flat pyramid lined by a densely planted periphery, formed by a collection of old and new public spaces and gardens. The resulting green belt acts as an antechamber negotiating the transition between the congested city and the square.
PC Caritas by Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu - Belgium
Photography by Filip Dujardin
This building was once a psychiatric clinic. It was in the first stages of demolition before it was decided that perhaps there could be another use for the building. A refurbishment has turned the building into an experimental space to "re-discover, explore and define possible other ways of life", according to the architect.
Terracehouse Berlin by Brandlhuber + Emde - Germany
Photography by Erica Overmeer
The design updates the typology of the terrace house as a contemporary and site-specific form, replicating the ground five times in the form of stepped terraces. The platforms are created by setbacks, defined by the length of the exterior staircases, following the German tread ratio of 19:26 cm. This creates the platforms’ five-meter depth, expanding the size of the apartments. The stepped terraces on the building’s rear façade therefore produce a negative form on the street side, creating a covered public space.
Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre by SelgasCano - Spain
Photography by Iwan Baan
The centre is on the boundary between the town and the country, in outskirts of Plasencia, the edge between what has been touched by a humanity and what has been touched by millennia of climate. According to the architect, this work required choosing between one of the boundary's two sides: belonging to the city or belonging to "slowness". The architect chose the latter.
Transformation of 530 dwellings by Frederic Druot Architecture, Lacaton & Vassal Architectes and Christophe Hutin Architecture - France
Photography by Philippe Rualt
This project consists of the transformation of 530 social housing dwellings. Built in the early 1960s, they needed a renovation after their demolition had been ruled out. The transformation of the dwellings started from the interior to give them new qualities: more space, more light, better views and upgraded facilities.
The winner of the Mies van der Rohe Award will be announced at the end of April 2019 and a ceremony will take place on 7 May at the Mies van der Rohe pavilion in Barcelona.