Old buildings

The Mies van der Rohe architecture prize has three Portuguese projects among the 40 selected from which the list of finalists will be announced in February, the organization of the sector’s most important European award has announced.

The Caminho das Escadinhas, in Matosinhos, by Paulo Moreira, the General Silveira Building, in Porto, by Tiago Antero and Vítor Fernandes, and the Piódão Tourist Office, in Arganil, district of Coimbra, by João Branco and Paula del Río, are the three projects selected for the list of finalists for the prize awarded by the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation.

The 40 works of architecture now chosen are spread across 38 European cities in 33 regions and 20 countries, according to the organization.

The Metropolitan Area of Porto, along with the regions of Berlin, Brussels, Vienna, as well as Catalonia, Pannonian Croatia and Flanders, have the highest number of finalists, with two each. The other 26 are spread across different parts of Europe.

By country, Spain leads the way with six projects, followed by Germany and Belgium, both with four, then Portugal, France and Croatia, each with three, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden with two, thus concentrating almost 75% of those selected in nine countries.

The remaining 11 are from Czechia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

The 40 works selected, according to the organization, “contribute to creating environments with a high quality of life”, mainly covering projects for “collective housing, cultural and educational buildings”, which account for half of the candidates.

The others are in the areas of food and housing, government and citizenship, health, industry, infrastructure, landscape, single-family housing, sports and leisure, ephemeral and urban planning.

These 40 projects were selected by a jury made up of Frédéric Druot, who presides, Martin Braathen, Pippo Ciorra, Tinatin Gurgenidze, Adriana Krnáčová, Sala Makumbundu and Hrvoje Njiric.

In this edition, the Mies van der Rohe 2024 awards are aimed at “the best projects” completed between April 2021 and May 2023, seeking to “reflect on the challenges currently faced by citizens, architects, clients, contractors, policy makers and other professionals, in the context of the European Green Deal”.

Portugal entered this phase of the competition in October as the sixth country with the most nominations, with 14 projects, along with Greece, after Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and Austria.

Among the projects that didn’t make it through to the next stage were the new Porto School of Art building, the Campanhã Intermodal Terminal, the renovation of the Batalha Cinema, the restoration of the Bolhão Market and the Vincci Ponte de Ferro Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia, all in the Porto Metropolitan Area, the Praia do Canal Nature Resort in Aljezur, a house in Grândola, another in Barreiro, the “Monochrome Apartment” in Aveiro and, in Lisbon, the Casas no Andaluz and another in Santa Isabel, completed the initial list of nominated Portuguese projects.

The Mies van der Rohe Prize is named after the German-born architect who headed the Bauhaus in the early 1930s. After Hiltler’s Nazi forces came to power in 1933, he took refuge in the United States, where he obtained US citizenship and was at the origin of the so-called Second Chicago School and today’s Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

The finalists for the prize will be announced in February, the winners will be announced in April, and the award ceremony will take place during a program on May 13 and 14 at the Mies van der Rohe Foundation in Barcelona.

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