Winner announced for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009: Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo by Snøhetta

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced today that the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo, Norway by Snøhetta is the winner of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award 2009. The Jury also awarded the Emerging Architect Special Mention to STUDIO UP/ Lea Pelivan and Toma Plejić for Gymnasium 46° 09' N / 16° 50' E, Koprivnica, Croatia. Visit the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo, Norway by Snøhetta.

Mies van der Rohe Award 2009

The 60,000 € Prize funded with support by the European Union, one of the most important and prestigious prizes for international architecture, is awarded biennially to built works completed within the previous two years.
By supporting the prize, the European Commission underlines the role of architecture as a driver for creativity and innovation, opens up culture to audiences beyond national borders and draws attention to the European professionals’ contribution in the development of new ideas and technologies that impact Europeans’ everyday life.
You can see the announcement online at www.miesarch.com made by The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel and Francis Rambert, Chair of the Jury.
This landmark building by Snøhetta, who also designed the new Library of Alexandria (2002), is the largest cultural centre built in Norway in 700 years. It sloping stone roof -made up of 36,000 fitted pieces- rises up from the fjord; allowing members of the public, residents and opera goers alike, to walk over the building, developing a relationship with the public structure. Integral to the 1,000-room interior, which is largely lined with crafted woodwork (using the traditions of Norwegian boat builders), are a number of art commissions interwoven into the structural fabric, including a cloakroom, a collaboration with their 2007 Serpentine Pavilion collaborator Olafur Eliasson.
There will be a special granting ceremony at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona on 28 May 2009.
A travelling exhibition and catalogue featuring the works chosen by the Jury – the Prize Winner, Special Mention, the finalists and the shortlisted works – will be presented in September this year.
The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel’ said :
«Architecture is a highly visible showcase of creativity and innovation, and today’s prize winners show the benefits of investing in European architectural talent, in our creativity and innovation. This is all the more relevant this year, as stimulating new ideas and highlighting entrepreneurial efforts are key parts of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009».
The Jury, chaired by Francis Rambert includes: Ole Bouman, Irena Fialová, Fulvio Irace, Luis M. Mansilla, Carme Pinós and Vasa J. Perović.
Francis Rambert, Chair of the Jury said: «The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo is more than just a building. It is first an urban space, a gift to the city. The building can be considered a catalyst of all the energies of the city and is emblematic of the regeneration of its urban tissue.»
Tarald Lundevall, project architect for Snøhetta said: «Snøhetta consider The Mies van der Rohe Award among the worlds most prestigious architectural acknowledgements. We are greatly honoured to receive this prize for The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.»
The EU Culture Programme also funds the European Border Breakers Awards, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, which will be presented in Taormina (Sicily, Italy) on 5 June 2009, and the forthcoming European Union Prize for Literature to be awarded in September 2009.
For further information: www.miesarch.com
European Commission: Culture
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Norwegian National Opera & Ballet Oslo, Norway
SNØHETTA/ Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers
The new building for the opera and ballet is the first element in the transformation of the bay area of Oslo with the objective of reconnecting the city with its waterfront. In addition to providing the city with an opera and ballet house of the highest international standards, the marble-clad roofscape is both a new civic landmark as well as an architectural landscape that is open to the public. The interior is composed of a sequence of differentiated spaces characterised by carefully chosen materials and the integration of the works of several artists.
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (born 1958 in Haugesund, Norway, diploma: Technische Universität Graz) , Tarald Lundevall (born 1948 in Oslo, diploma: Arkitektur og designhøgskolen i Oslo) and Craig Dykers (born 1961 in Frankfurt, diploma: University of Texas at Austin) are partners and directors of Snøhetta, an architectural practice established in 1989 in Oslo. Their major works include the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt; the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin and the INMED Institute of Neurobiology in Marseilles, France.

The winner of the Prize was selected from a shortlist of five finalists:
• Zenith Music Hall, Strasbourg (France) by Studio Fuksas/ Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas
• Luigi Bocconi University, Milan (Italy) by Grafton Architects/ Shelley McNamara, Yvonne Farrell,
• Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo (Norway) by Snøhetta/ Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers.
• Multimodal Centre – Nice Tramway, Nice (France) by Atelier Marc Barani
• Library, Senior Citizens’ Centre and Interior Courtyard, Barcelona (Spain) by RCR Arquitectes
The finalists were selected from 340 projects proposed by the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) member associations, other national architectural associations, the group of Experts and the Advisory Committee.

Gymnasium 46º09’N/16º50E, Koprivnica, Croatia
STUDIO UP/ Lea Pelivan, Toma Plejić
The mixed-use programme for this project includes a sports hall as well as a high school. The spatial and visual overlapping of the facilities was the basis of the design concept and the spacious interior street organises and connects all the programmatic elements. A system of shutters above the sports hall and the ducts through the cantilevered classrooms of the top floor ensure a constant flow of cool air during the summer months while the double polycarbonate skin creates a ‘green house effect’ in winter. The building transforms the suburban periphery of Koprivnica by creating a landmark and an emblematic place for the young people of the town.
Lea Pelivan (Born in Split, Croatia in 1976) and Toma Plejić (Born in Riijeka, Croatia in 1977) both received their architecture diplomas in 2001 from the University of Zagreb where they established their professional practice in 2003. Their most important projects include:
Frameworks (Site-specific project for the 2004 Biennale di Venezia), the P10 Mixed-Use
Building, Split and the Spectator Business Building, Zagreb.

In addition to the Prize Winners the Jury makes a selection of exemplary architectural works produced for each cycle. This shortlist of works are included in the catalogue as well as the travelling exhibition and for this edition, represent an important and unique anthology of the development of contemporary European architecture built during 2007 – 2008.
• Jaclyn Residential and Office Building, Sofia, Bulgaria by aedes studio
• Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum, Cascais, Portugal by Aires Mateus & Associados
• Tupper Home, Madrid, Spain by Andrés Jaque Arquitectos
• Les Bains Des Docks, Le Havre, France by Ateliers Jean Nouvel
• Rabot Youth Centre, Ghent, Belgium by Beel & Achtergael Architecten
• Mountain Dwellings, Copenhagen, Denmark by BIG with JDS
• Parking Garage, Coesfeld-Lette, Germany by Birk und Heilmeyer Architekten
• Craftsman City, Valbonne, France by Comte Vollenweider Architects
• BMW Welt, Munich, Germany by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU / Wolf D. Prix – Wolfdieter Dreibholz & Partners
• Water Filtration Plant, Venice, Italy by C+S ASSOCIATI
• Gallery Building Am Kupfergraben 10, Berlin, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects
• Metal Recycling Plant, Pivka, Slovenia by dekleva gregorič arhitekti
• Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects – DMAA
• Major Extension of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, Luxembourg by Dominique Perrault Architects
• 11 March Memorial, Madrid, Spain by FAM Arquitectura y Urbanismo
• La Rioja Technology Transfer Centre, Logroño, Spain by Foreign Office Architects (FOA)
• Ar de Rio Esplanade Pavilion, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal by Guedes + DeCampos
• House in the Countryside, Artà, Mallorca, Spain by Herreros Arquitectos
• Herold Social Housing, Paris, France by Jakob+MacFarlane
• School of Music, Polytecnic Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal by JLCG arquitectos
• Práter Street Social Housing, Budapest, Hungary by Kis Péter Építészmuterme Kft
• Rotermanni Carpenter’s Workshop in Rotermann Quarter, Tallinn, Estonia by KOKO Arhitektid
• Family House in Cernošice, Prague, Czech Republic by kopecky and studeny architects,Ksa
• School of Architecture, Nantes, France by Lacaton & Vassal architectes
• Alvéole 14 – Transformation of a Submarine Base, Saint-Nazaire, France by LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi
• Spanish Pavilion EXPO Zaragoza 2008, Zaragoza, Spain by Mangado y Asociados
• Public Municipal Library and Reading Park, Torre Pacheco, Murcia, Spain by Martín Lejarraga
• Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands by Merkx+Girod Architects
• Building Rehabilitation of 5 Subsidized Housing Units and one premises in El Pópulo, Cádiz, Spain by MGM, Morales de Giles Arquitectos
• Didden Village, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, MVRDV
• Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum, the Netherlands by Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
• Auditorium and Convention Centre of Aragon EXPO Zaragoza 2008, Zaragoza, Spain by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
• A Folded Mat – Kindergarten MB, Zagreb, Croatia by njiric+ arhitekti
• MediaPro Tower Barcelona, Spain by the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) and Patrick Genard Asociados
• Extension of the Stadium Ljudski Vrt, Maribor, Slovenia by OFIS Arhitekti and multiPlan arhitekti
• Kraanspoor, Amsterdam North, the Netherlands by OTH
• Villa 1, Ede, the Netherlands by Powerhouse Company
• Kitchen Monument, Berlin, Germany by raumlaborberlin and Plastique Fantastique
• Bell-Lloc Winery, Palamós, Spain by RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta Arquitectes
• Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande, Venice, Italy by Santiago Calatrava
• Hof, (Höfoaströnd), Iceland by Studio Granda
• Sports Ground for Majori Primary School, Jurmala, Latvia by Substance
• Kalmar Museum of Art, Kalmar, Sweden by Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter
• Nordpark Cable Railway, Innsbruck, Austria by Zaha Hadid Architects

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