ABA’s Ely Court has been selected as one of just five finalists from a shortlist of 40 for the prestigious 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Ely Court is a 43-dwelling mixed-tenure scheme for London’s South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan for Brent Council.
The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced the five finalists at a press conference on 15th February at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.
Stephen Bates, architect and Chairman of the Jury said: “Our instincts could be summed up by the words of Peter Smithson: ‘things need to be ordinary and heroic at the same time’. We were looking for an ordinariness whose understated lyricism is full of potential”.
Malgorzata Omilanowska, art historian, former Minister of Culture in Poland and member of the Jury, said: “social housing, memory and the problem of context and new constructions in the old city centres have proven to be important to us as a Jury. The finalist works show the problematic of our time; what has happened in the last year reveals the really deep problem of populism and the lack of memory. These 5 projects show the problem that we face as citizens, not only as architecture specialists, but as members of today’s society.”
Anna Ramos, Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, said: “The Jury’s selection consolidates the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award as a strategic element by which to promote research into, debate on and dissemination of contemporary architecture in Europe. Issues such as collective housing, the complexity of the European city—both contemporary and historical—and the ability of architecture to create symbolic spaces provide us with the opportunity to extend the debate on the finalist works beyond architectural circuits, because they respond to the concerns of today’s European society.”
The Prize is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years. The principal objectives are to achieve a thorough understanding of the transformation of Europe’s built environment; to recognize and commend excellence and innovation in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas, the clients who support them and the citizens that enjoy them. The Jury will visit the five works in April and the Prize Winner and the Emerging Architect Winner will be announced in Brussels on 16th May. The process will culminate with the Awards Ceremony on 26th May at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, marking several days of Open Doors throughout Europe during which sites of the shortlisted works will be open for visits by the general public.
The four other finalists are:
- deFlatKleiburg, Amsterdam, by NL Architects and XVW architectuur, Amsterdam
- Kannikegården, Ribe, by Lundgaard &Tranberg Architects, Copenhagen
- Katyn Museum, Warsaw, by BBGK Architekci, Warsaw
- Rivesaltes Memorial Museum, Rivesaltes/Ribesaltes, by Rudy Ricciotti, Bandol