The European Commission and Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced that a total of 40 built works, all of them resounding examples of “how architects continue to undertake the endeavors to design responsibly, ethically, and environmentally,” have been shortlisted for this year’s EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – the Mies van der Rohe Prize or, simply, the EUmies Awards.
Living in Lime, a social housing project by Peris+Toral in Son Servera, Spain. Photo © José Hevia
A seven-member jury, chaired by French architect Frédéric Druot, selected the shortlisted projects from a pool of 362 nominees in the running for the 18th cycle of the coveted biennial architecture prize. In total, the shortlisted works—all completed between April 2021 and May 2023 to be eligible for consideration— represent 38 European cities spread across 33 regions in 20 different countries. Spain emerged with the most shortlisted projects (six) followed by Belgium and Germany (four each) and France, Croatia, and Portugal (three each). Austria, Sweden, Slovenia, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are all also represented.
Reggio School by Andrés Jacque/Office of Political Innovation in Madrid. Photo © José Hevia
Cultural Center designed by Beaudouin Architectes and Ivry Serres. Photo © Fernando Guerra
Of the 14 different building categories identified by the jury, roughly half of the shortlisted works fall under the Collective Housing and Cultural and Educational Building umbrellas. In that former category is a project in Majorca, Spain, by Catalan studio Peris+Toral, a presenter at RECORD’s 2023 Innovation Conference. Shortlisted in the latter category is Madrid’s Reggio School, designed by Andrés Jacque of the Office of Political Innovation, who was also a featured presenter at the conference. Another shortlisted work to be featured in the pages of RECORD is the Charles Nègre Library and Cultural Center in Grasse, France, designed by Beaudouin Architectes and Ivry Serres.
The prize organizers also highlight the fact that a fair number of the 40 shortlisted projects are transnational—that is, they are designed by a studio located in another country—with only 22 percent of the contenders being located in the same city where their respective designers are located. Examples of this cycle’s transnational spirit include Oslo’s Munch Museum, designed by Spanish firm estudioHerreros; the Plato Contemporary Art Gallery in Ostrava, Czech Republic, designed by Poland’s KWK Promes; and the Hage in Lund, Sweden, designed by Norwegian studio Brendeland & Kristoffersen.
Munch Museum in Oslo by the Madrid office of estudioHerreros. Photo © Einar Aslaksen
Only a modest number (six projects or 15 percent) of the shortlisted buildings are situated in large cities—Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, and Tbilisi, all make the cut—with more than 1 million residents; a majority are located in small villages, small and mid-sized cities, and major cities with populations less than 1 million such as Stockholm, Oslo, Dublin, Antwerp, Porto, and Bratislava.
Art Pavilion M in the Dutch city of Almere by Rotterdam-based Studio Ossidiana. Photo © Riccardo de Vecchi
“We thought it was important to show the diversity of themes, scales and approaches to architecture through this selection of projects; the attitude and positioning of architects towards the treatment of the complexity of the world and the correspondence of their thoughts and identities with the proposals,” said Druot in a statement.
Finalists in the running for the 2024 EUmies Awards will be revealed next month; two winners—the Architecture Prize Winner (€60,000) and the Emerging Prize Winner (€30,000)—will be announced in April. The announcement is followed by EUmies Award Day, which includes a formal awards ceremony, public talks, and an exhibition showcasing all 362 nominated projects, to be held at Barcelona’s Mies van der Rohe Pavilion on May 13th and 14th.
FLOW, an open air swimming pool in Anderlecht, Belgium, by Brussels-based Decoratelier Jozef Wouters and POOL IS COOL. Photo © Annemie Augustijns
You can learn more about all 40 shortlisted works for the 2024 EUmies Awards here.