The European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation announced this week that the winner of the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award, is the Neues Museum in Berlin.
The building is a reconstruction, blending old and new, by UK architect Sir David Chipperfield. The award ceremony will take place on 20 June at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.
David Chipperfield: To view video, click here.
“The Neues Museum brings the past and present together in an stunning mix of contemporary architecture, restoration and art,” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
The original Neues Museum, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, was built in the mid-19th century. The building was severely damaged in the Second World War and reconstruction began in 2003, with the aim of restoring the site to its former glory.
David Chipperfield, who worked on the project in collaboration with fellow British architect Julian Harrap, combined elements of the past and present.
“The reconstruction of the Neues Museum is a testament to the collaborative process undertaken in a demanding climate of public opinion. The result is evidence not only of the efforts of the professional team but of the commitment of the client and the city authorities to engage in this rigorous and articulated process,” said Chipperfield.
The jury members who selected the finalists for 2011 are: Mohsen Mostafavi, Chair of the jury/Dean, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA; Ole Bouman, Director, Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Rotterdam; Yvonne Farrell, Grafton Architects, Dublin; Annette Gigon, Gigon/Guyer, Zürich; Anne Lacaton, Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, Paris; Tarald Lundevall, SNØHETTA, Oslo; Studio Pei-zhu, Beijing; and Lluís Hortet, Secretary of the jury/Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe.
“The rebuilding of the Neues Museum is an extraordinary achievement. Rarely have an architect and client succeeded in undertaking a work of such historic importance and complexity; especially one that involves both preservation and new building. The project raises and addresses many aesthetic, ethical, and technical issues. It is an exemplary demonstration of what collaboration can achieve in the context of contemporary European architectural practice,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Chair of the jury.
The winners were chosen from 343 submitted works in 33 European countries. Six works were shortlisted for the main award. The other finalists were: Bronks Youth Theatre (Brussels, Belgium, designed by Martine De Maeseneer, Dirk Van den Brande); MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome, Italy, by Zaha Hadid, Patrick Schumacher, Gianluca Racana); Concert House Danish Radio (Copenhagen, Denmark, by Jean Nouvel); Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece, by Bernard Tschumi) and Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal (Arnhem, The Netherlands, by Koen van Velsen).
“The decision of the jury was an extraordinary challenge due to the high quality of all the finalist projects. The Neues Museum by David Chipperfield is a very important statement of how a contemporary architectural intervention contributes to the re-use of our heritage by improving its functional qualities and introducing outstandingly designed new architectural elements for its museological purpose,” said Lluís Hortet, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation.