The Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Harpa : winner of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award

April 29, 2013

Funding Scheme: 2013-04-29

Pgm2014 2020: Yes


The European Commission and the the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced that the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland, Harpa, was the winner of the 13th edition of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. It was designed by Designed by Henning Larsen Architects, Batteríið Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson and contributes to the transformation of the Reykjavik harbor, bringing therefore closer the city and harbor district.

The Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award aims at awarding excellence and innovation in the design, technical merit and construction of European structures and at raising awareness of the cultural importance of contemporary architecture and its impact on the current and future development of Europe’s towns and cities.

The prize celebrates this year it 25th anniversary. The award ceremony, which will take place on 7 June in Barcelona, will therefore also celebrates the anniversary of the prize. 



The winners were chosen from 335 submitted works in 37 European countries. Five works were shortlisted for the main award. The other finalists were: Market Hall (Ghent, Belgium by Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Marie-José Van Hee architecten); Superkilen (Copenhagen, Denmark by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek1, Superflex); Home for Elderly People (Alcácer do Sal, Portugal by Aires Mateus Arquitectos) and Metropol Parasol (Seville, Spain by J. Mayer H).

The jury members who selected the finalists for 2013 are: Wiel Arets, Chair of the Jury, Principal, Wiel Arets Architects, Maastricht, Dean, College of Architecture, IIT, Chicago; Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Antón García-Abril, Principal, Ensamble Studio; Louisa Hutton, Principal, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, Berlin; Kent Martinussen, CEO, The Danske Arkitekter Center (DAC), Copenhagen; Frédéric Migaryou, Director, Architecture & Design, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ewa Porebska, Editor-in-Chief, Architektura-murator, Warsaw; Giovanna Carnevali, Secretary of the Jury, Director, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona.

The architecture sector is at the heart of Europe’s vibrant cultural and creative industries. It directly employs more than half a million people, as well as more than 12 million in the construction sector. Architecture is part of the cultural and creative sectors, which contribute 4.5% to the EU’s GDP.

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award highlights the contribution of European architects to the development of new ideas and technologies in contemporary urban development. Launched in 1987 and co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the prize is the most prestigious in European architecture. It is awarded every other year to works completed within the previous two years. The winner receives €60 000. Works nominated for the Prize are put forward by independent experts, as well as by the member associations of the Architects’ Council of Europe, national architects’ associations, and the Advisory Committee for the Prize.

The Prize is named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is regarded as one of the pioneers of 20th century modern architecture. His most celebrated works include the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exhibition, Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, the Seagram Building in New York and the National Gallery in Berlin.

Previous winners include:

* Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany by David Chipperfiel/David Chipperfield Architects, in collaboration with Julian Harrap
* Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo, Norway by SNØHETTA / Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers
* MUSAC, León, Spain by Luis M. Mansilla, Emilio Tuñón / Mansilla + Tuñón Arquitectos
* Netherlands Embassy Berlin, Germany by OMA / Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon
* Kursaal Centre, San Sebastián, Spain by Rafael Moneo
* Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim North, Strasbourg, France by Zaha Hadid/ Zaha Hadid Architects
* Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria by Peter Zumthor
* Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France by Dominique Perrault
* Waterloo International Station, London, UK by Nicholas Grimshaw / Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners
* Municipal Sports Stadium, Badalona (Barcelona), Spain by Esteve Bonell, Francesc Rius
* Stansted Airport, London, United Kingdom by Norman Foster / Norman Foster + Partners
* Banco Borges e Irmão, Vila do Conde, Portugal by Álvaro Siza Vieira

Url description: European Commission Press