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Brussels, 29 April 2009

The winners of the 2009 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture are announced

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced today that Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo, Norway by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers, Snøhetta is the winner of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009. The Jury also awarded a Special Mention for an Emerging Architect to Lea Pelivan and Toma Plejic, STUDIO UP for Gymnasium 46° 09' N / 16° 50' E, Koprivnica, Croatia. By supporting the prize, the European Commission underlines the role of architecture as a driver for creativity and innovation, opens up culture to audiences beyond national borders and draws attention to the European professionals' contribution in the development of new ideas and technologies that impact Europeans' everyday life.

The € 60,000 Prize is funded with support by the European Union's 'Culture' programme. The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is one of the most important and prestigious prizes for international architecture and is awarded biennially to built works completed within the previous two years.

The announcement has been made online at and by the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel and Francis Rambert, Chair of the Jury at 10:00am.

There will be a press visit to the winning building on 7 May 2009 and a special granting ceremony at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona on 28 May 2009.

A travelling exhibition and catalogue featuring the works chosen by the Jury – including those of the Prize Winner, the Special Mention, the finalists and the shortlisted works – will be presented in September this year.

The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr Ján Figel' said: "Architecture is a highly visible showcase of creativity and innovation, and today's prize winners show the benefits of investing in European architectural talent, in our creativity and innovation. This is all the more relevant this year, as stimulating new ideas and highlighting entrepreneurial efforts are key parts of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009".

The Jury, chaired by Francis Rambert, includes: Ole Bouman, Irene Fialová, Fulvio Irace, Luis M. Mansilla, Carme Pinós and Vasa J. Perović.

The finalist projects were:

  • Multimodal Centre – Nice Tramway, Nice (France) by Marc Barani / Atelier Marc Barani
  • Zenith Music Hall, Strasbourg (France) by Massimiliano Fuksas, Doriana Fuksas / Massimiliano Fuksas Architecture
  • University Luigi Bocconi, Milan (Italy) by Shelley McNamara, Yvonne Farrell / Grafton Architects
  • The Norwegian Opera & Ballet, Oslo (Norway) by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Tarald Lundevall, Craig Dykers / Snøhetta
  • Library, Senior Citizens’ Centre and City Block Core Zone, Sant Antoni’s District, Barcelona (Spain) by Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, Ramon Vilalta / RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta Arquitectes

The EU Culture Programme also funds the European Border Breakers Awards, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, which will be presented in Taormina (Sicily, Italy) on 5 June 2009, and the forthcoming European Union Prize for Literature to be awarded in September 2009.

To find out more:

Mies van der Rohe Foundation:

European Commission: Culture

- Architecture Prize:

- Policy developments:

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