Grafton Architects wins Mies Award. Lacol Emerging Architect
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Grafton Architects wins the Mies van der Rohe Award. Lacol wins the Emerging Architect distinction

The winners of the 2022 award announced, with the ceremony scheduled for May 12

Grafton Architects | Lacol

Grafton Architects wins Mies Award. Lacol Emerging Architect
By Editorial Staff -

Both symbols of creativity and architecture that contributes to society, Town House by Grafton Architects and La Borda by Lacol are the winners of the 2022 Mies van der Rohe 2022 Award. Selected from over 500 entries, they recognized on May 12th at the EUmies Awards Day in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

One of the most coveted awards in the sector, the first prize went to the Town House at London’s Kingston University, designed by Dublin-based studio Grafton Architects, cofounded by Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara. Commissioned by Kingston University, this is the first university building to win the award, underlining the importance of upgrading education facilities, beginning with its structures, in particular those designed for sharing and togetherness. The jury mentioned the building’s environmental quality as a key motivation for the award, with the project providing an excellent ambience for studying, dancing, gathering, and togetherness. A whole area of the university building is, in fact, dedicated to physical activities. Along with the library and study areas, all these spaces possess a familiar and welcoming atmosphere, while also catering to the needs of each individual, with equal accessibility for all. From the outside, the building is characterized by its multilevel white colonnades.

La Borda, Lacol ©Lluc Miralles, courtesy of Fondazione Mies van der Rohe

The Emerging Architect award for 2022 went to La Borda, a project designed by Barcelona-based cooperative Lacol, which also won the Zumtobel Group Award in 2021. The prize was awarded in recognition of the project’s transgressive approach. According to the judges, “although housing production is mainly dominated by macroeconomic interests, in this case, the model is based on the co-ownership and co-management of shared resources and capacities. The model goes beyond the specific project of cooperative housing.”

La Borda is a wooden structure on six levels. The idea behind it dates from 2012 and was driven by the community itself in response to the difficulty in finding accessible housing. La Borda is therefore an example of how a shared need can be transformed into built architecture. But the project is also notable in that it was the product of a collective effort, with its instigators also its final users. The building also set a new standard in the way it finds the right balance between the residents’ needs and environmental, social, and economic considerations.


>>> Read more about Lacol’s La Borda project.


The jury, the award, and the EUmies Awards Day

Town House, Grafton Architects ©Ed Reeve, courtesy of Fondazione Mies van der Rohe

The jury, comprising Tatiana Bilbao, Francesca Ferguson, Mia Hägg, Triin Ojari, Georg Pendl, Spiros Pengas, and Marcel Smets, selected the two winners from among 532 projects in 41 countries. The jury also visited the five finalist projects, accompanied by the architects, clients, promoters, users, and local experts. They were: Z33 House for Contemporary Arts, Design and Architecture in Hasselt; Town House, Kingston University in London; Ferme du Rail in Paris; 85 Social Housing Units in Cornellà de Llobregat; and Frizz23 in Berlin.


>>> Read more about the five finalists.


Amounting to 60,000 euros and held every two years, the Mies van der Rohe Award is the most prestigious architectural award in Europe. It was established in 1987 to showcase the contribution of European architects to promoting new ideas and technologies in contemporary urban development. It’s co-funded by the Creative Europe Program and Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

La Borda, Lacol ©Lluc Miralles, courtesy of Fondazione Mies van der Rohe

EUmies Awards Day included the awards ceremony and was held on May 12th as part of Barcelona’s Model Festival of Architecture. The festival showcases experimental and speculative architecture with the aim of encouraging communities to reimagine how we live together through new city models and visions. As well as the awards ceremony, Barcelona is hosting the 2022 EUmies Awards exhibition at ESklandestino from May 1–12, with models, documentation, videos, drafts, and sketches of the 40 shortlisted projects, and summaries of the 532 nominated projects. Staged as a part of the event, EUmies Awards Talks is an opportunity for the winners, finalists, shortlisted entrants, clients, the trade media, and architecture enthusiasts to discuss the emerging issues as highlighted by the jury. It will also be the setting for the launch of Out & About, a program that will give participants firsthand experience with the 40 shortlisted projects, with their architects and promoters organizing events in the buildings themselves.


>>> Read the 2022 event program.


Location: Barcellona
Organization: Fondazione Mies van der Rohe
Photography by Ed Reeve and Lluc Miralles, courtesy of Fondazione Mies van der Rohe

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