EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture/Mies van der Rohe Award 2019


14APR 2019
# TITLE: EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture/Mies van der Rohe Award 2019
# DATE: 2019

Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture and
Christophe Hutin Architecture


• With these two awards the Jury of the Prize highlights the quality and relevance of the collective housing program and the architecture of rural areas.

• On May 7, the Awards Ceremony will take place at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona

Brussels, April 10, 2019 - At a press conference held today in Brussels, the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced the Winners of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2019.

The Transformation of 530 Dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux by Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture and Christophe Hutin Architecture is the 2019 Winner of the Prize.

The client is AQUITANIS, home public office of Bordeaux Métropole. The work is an innovative renovation of three huge apartment buildings in Bordeaux, that gives to all dwellings new qualities of space and living, by inventorying very precisely the existing qualities that should be preserved, and what is missing that must be supplemented. The transformation of each unit cost 50.000€ (excluding VAT) and it has not increased the rent of the former tenants who did not need to move
out of their apartments during the construction works.

The 2019 Emerging Architecture prize has been awarded to the Toulouse studio BAST for the School Refectory in Montbrun-Bocage, Haute-Garonne, near the French Pyrenees. The client is the commune of Montbrun-Bocage. The canteen is the extension of the existing school for 61 pupils that physically but not visually fences the courtyard. The two awarded projects have been chosen from a list of 383 works from 38 European countries.

Five finalists were selected and visited by the Jury: Terrassenhaus Berlin / Lobe Block; Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre; PC CARITAS in Melle; Skanderbeg Square in Tirana and the blocks in Bordeaux, accompanied by the authors of the works, the clients or developers and the users.

The jury visited six works of architecture that represent a new agenda for architecture today. We come from a long period of uncertainty which is now transforming into optimism and generosity, and that awakens an attitude that embraces risk both from the side of the clients and of the architects. The
finalists delivered extraordinary and engaging buildings and spaces in complex conditions, making the jury’s choice very difficult. After five hours of a strongly constructive debate, the decision was taken democratically and also with the conviction that, after visiting all the works, they would all have been
worthy winners.

The Jury chaired by Dorte Mandrup has awarded the two works for the following reasons:
Transformation of 530 Dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux
The Jury valued that the project challenges the existing European housing stock from the post war period, using minimum means to achieve a maximum effect. Instead of demolishing, which involves the use of an important amount of energy, in this case the client understood and supported the advantages of transforming the existing three buildings. This has changed people’s lives for the better without underestimating their previous lives, filling the new volume with poetry because it works with the basis that people understand space and in consequence, they use it in very different ways.

At a moment in which the commissions for new social housing blocks ask for a reduction of the surface of flats, here the volume is increased, offering dignity and giving more value to the individual and to the collective. The ensemble becomes an optimistic opportunity for social housing and modernity, being generous and also changing architecture and the possibilities of architecture. The architects show a very high acknowledgement of who – a mix of inhabitants – and what – the results from previous research on transformation – they are working with.

This results in a refined way of working with people, space and materials although the improvement in the collective could have been stronger if the opportunities in the relationship with the street would have been different.

Name of work: Transformation of 530 Dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux (FR)
Offices: Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture and Christophe Hutin
Architecture, Paris / Bordeaux
Authors: Anne Lacaton (FR); Jean Philippe Vassal (FR); Frederic Druot (FR); Christophe Hutin
Full information:

© Photo: Philippe Ruault © Design: Lacaton & Vassal architectes; Frédéric Druot Architecture and Christophe Hutin Architecture

School Refectory in Montbrun-Bocage
The jury was drawn by the extremely precise implementation and design decisions which make the refectory a remarkable project built on a relatively small budget. The work was done with extreme humbleness, taking into account the context of the village and the immediate landscape, thereby creating a very respectful work of architecture. As Benjamin Aubry, architect and expert of the EU Mies Award expressed, the simplicity of its devices and construction offers generous space, excellent capacity of use and immense poetry.

Name of work: School Refectory in Montbrun-Bocage (FR)
Office: BAST (FR)
Full information:
© Photo and Design: BAST

The winners will be celebrated at the EU Mies Award Day on May 7 in Barcelona. The event will include:
- the opening of the “EU Mies Award 2019 exhibition” that will show models, texts, videos, sketches and drawings of the 40 shortlisted works and a summary of all 383 nominees.
- the presentation of the EU Mies Award 2019 catalogue and the app;
- the “EU Mies Talks” on ‘Architecture for the Community’ and ‘Contemporary  architecture and heritage’. These talks will allow Winners, Finalists, shortlisted, clients, architecture media and people interested to debate on the emerging topics highlighted by the Jury;
- the Awards Ceremony at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion at 18:30h and a celebration that will also initiate the Barcelona Architecture Week and the EU Mies Award Architecture Days in which the 4 Finalist works, the Winner and the Emerging Architect as well as some of the shortlisted buildings will organize activities to bring the architecture closer to the public.

The “EU Mies Award 2019 exhibition” will embark on its tour around Europe with an opening at BOZAR, Brussels on September 13 and will continue to other cities in 2019 and 2020.

Prize Calendar:
10 April 2019 - Announcement of Prize Winner and the Emerging Architect Winner in Brussels (BOZAR)
7 May 2019 – Awards Ceremony, EU Mies Talks and presentation of the Prize 2019 Catalogue and “EU Mies Award 2019 exhibition” open to the public in Barcelona.
7-19 May 2019 – EU Mies Award Architecture Days.
9-19 May 2019 – Barcelona Architecture Week: a wide range of activities related to the world of architecture and the city, organized with different institutions including Barcelona City Council, the Association of Architects of Catalonia (COAC) and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

Fundació Mies van der Rohe – Press Office
Miriam Giordano / Labóh
Tel.: +34 933 192 664 / +34 606 602 230
To find out more:
Press kit:
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EUMiesAward App
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