11 Polish Buildings Nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2017
small, 11 Polish Buildings Nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2017, centrum_dialogu_przelomy_w_szczecinie_1.jpg, The National Museum in Szczecin — The Dialogue Centre Upheavals, photo: KWK Promes
Until April 2015, only architecture buffs had heard of the Mies van der Rohe Award. That all changed when for the first time in history, the greatest architecture award in Europe was given to a Polish building – the Szczecin Philharmonic. Now a squad of Polish nominations have been announced for the next edition of this prestigious competition.
On 22nd December, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the Barcelona-based organisation that every two years gives out the most important architecture award, announced the list of buildings that have a chance for this prestigious laurel in 2017. From thousands of applications, the judges picked 356 buildings from 260 European cities. This is a preliminary selection, and in the next stage the judges will prepare a shortlist of 40 from which they will choose the final five buildings in the spring. In April 2017, a seven-member jury will visit every building from this final list and only then announce the laureate of the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
The same country has never won the main prize two editions in a row. Since the last edition in 2015 was when the Mies van der Rohe Award was given to the Szczecin Philharmonic, a cynic might say that in the next edition Poland has little chance of winning. Luckily, Polish architects were certainly not discouraged from applying with their projects to the competition. Among them, ten have been nominated by the judges. This group includes the multi-award-winning Dialogue Centre Upheavals in Szczecin (designed by Robert Konieczny and KWK Promes), as well as many other great (in scale as well) buildings connected with culture: the effective and expressive Cultural and Congress Centre Jordanki in Toruń (designed by Menis Arquitectos), the monumental National Forum of Music in Wrocław (designed by Kuryłowicz & Associates, with interior by Towarzystwo Projektowe) and the context-perfect International Congress Centre in Katowice (designed by JEMS Architekci).
More subtle projects were also noticed – the Katyń Museum in Warsaw (designed for the Citadel by BBGK Architekci), the unique Museum of Fire in Żory (designed by OVO Grąbczewscy), and the European Centre for Geological Education in Chęciny (designed by WXCA), which makes use of a former quarry. Also among the nominations is a single-family house – the concrete Konieczny’s Ark, designed by Robert Konieczny for himself and his family in Brenna, as well as an edifice connected with physical culture, the Sport and Recreation Centre Ukiel in Olsztyn (designed by Dżus GK Architekci). It may come as a surprise that one nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2017 went to the Thermal Waste Incineration Plant in Kraków, designed by Prochem S.A.. Industrial and infrastructural buildings are rarely noticed in this kind of competitions, but it must be admitted that the building truly stands out.
The eleventh Polish building is not actually in the country itself, but rather Milan. The Polish Pavilion built for EXPO 2015 Milan actually won First Prize at the expo's award ceremony. It was designed by 2PM Studio, a Warsaw-based team made up of Michał Adamczyk and Piotr Musiałowski working with Stanisław Ignaciuk, Michał Lenczewski, Piotr Bylka and Paulina Pankiewicz.
mies van der rohe award
The dialogue centre PRZEŁOMY
contemporary polish architecture
Elsewhere, eight buildings nominated for the award this year are situated in London, and six in Barcelona. The biggest number of nominations received are France and Spain, while the least are Malta and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is worth competing for the award, because apart from 60,000 euro, the Mies van der Rohe Award brings prestige and fame to the cities awarded buildings are situated. The winner of the upcoming edition of the competition will be announced in May 2017, with the awards gala taking place in the pavilion in Barcelona designed by the great modernist Mies van der Rohe himself.
Originally written in Polish, Dec 2016, translated by BR, Dec 2016