Five project finalists have just been announced for this year’s European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—the Mies van der Rohe award—one of the most prestigious prizes in international architecture. The impressive contenders for the 14th edition of the prize were whittled down from a shortlist of 40 projects revealed earlier this month. From a sunken museum to a crystalline concert hall, these five finalist projects are among the best works completed by European architects in the last two years. Hit the jump to see the five projects still in the running for the €60,000 prize.
Philarmonic Hall Szczecin by Alberto Veiga and Fabrizio Barozzi
Located in the Polish seaport city of Szczecin, the Philarmonic Hall Szczecin is a glass-clad concert hall that appears to rise out of the earth like a beautiful white quartz cluster. Designed by Alberto Veiga and Fabrizio Barozzi, its distinctive profile is reflective of the concert hall’s dramatic performances—the sense of drama is continued in the building’s prismatic interior, part of which is covered in reflective gold leaf. The massive multi-story venue covers an area of 140,000 square feet and can seat 1,000 in its main symphony hall.
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre London School of Economics by O’Donnell + Tuomey
The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre is a seven-story-high BREEAM Outstanding building that houses all of the London School of Economics’ student facilities under one roof. Designed by Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, the building skillfully blends tradition with contemporary design with its geometric red brick façade; the architects used bricks, a common building material in London, to create an unexpected and modern form that evokes the dynamic student atmosphere. Certain sections of the brick facade were laid in an open work pattern to create lattice-like openings that allow natural light to enter the building.
Antinori Winery by Archea Associati
Italian architecture firm Archea Associati designed the nearly 540,000-square-foot Antinori Winery located just outside of Florence, Italy. Lined with terra cotta, the undulating building was created to appear seamless with the landscape. Farmland tops the tiered roof and helps insulate the energy-efficient building, which is built into the earth to maintain a constant indoor climate.
Danish Maritime Museum by Bjarke Ingels Group
Shaped like a ship, Bjarke Ingels Group’s sunken Danish Maritime Museum is an underground building built within the walls of an abandoned dry dock in Helsingør, Denmark. The maritime museum’s innovative design not only provided a solution for the forgotten dock, but also made use of new construction techniques never used before in Denmark. The building serves to educate the public on Denmark’s role as one of the world’s leading maritime nations.
Ravensburg Art Museum by Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei
Located in the medieval core of Ravensburg, Germany, the Ravensburg Art Museum houses the artworks of local collector Gudrun Selinka as well as touring shows of international modern and contemporary art. The contemporary design shows historic sensitivity by using bricks recycled from a demolished monastery. The museum is among one of the first in the world to be built to passive house standards.
Images via Mies van der Rohe Award Foundation