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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 5 June 2014

Venice Biennale hosts 'Made in Europe' architecture expo

An exhibition featuring the finalists of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award over the past 25 years will be on display for the first time during the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia). The 'Made in Europe' exhibition, which includes 150 models of the prize-winning projects and audiovisual content, will open with a seminar on 6 June in the presence of world-renowned architects Dominique Perrault, Vittorio Gregotti, Iñaki Ábalos and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. The exhibition, which takes place at the Palazzo Michiel, runs until 4 August.

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for culture, said: "We are honoured that the EU Prize will be part of the Biennale, one of the most prestigious art events in the world. The European Commission supports the Prize and the work of our partner, the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, to highlight the importance of contemporary architecture for the European economy and to encourage private and public investment in it."

The exhibition, which covers the 2 500 projects nominated for the Prize since its launch in 1987, is arranged thematically (collective housing, education, cultural centres, etc) and a timeline of European history highlights links between architecture and developments in politics, science and culture. The exhibition was created by students from the Barcelona School of Architecture (Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).

The exhibition opens at 18.00 on 6 June. It will be preceded by a press conference at 12:30 with Giovanna Carnevali, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Celia Marín, curator of the exhibition, Jaume Ciurana, Deputy Mayor responsible for culture, Barcelona City Council, and Michel Magnier, European Commission Director for Culture and Creativity. The seminar, bringing together curators from the Biennale's international pavilions, leading architects and previous winners of the prize, takes place at 15.30.

In mid-July, a second symposium at the Biennale will bring together past winners of the emerging architects category of the Prize and other young and talented architects will discuss the contemporary European architectural scene.

The EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award highlights excellence, creativity and innovation in European architecture. It also emphasises the contribution of European architects to technological, societal and cultural debates in contemporary urban development. Co-funded by the European Union's Creative Europe programme and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, the €60 000 prize is the most prestigious in European architecture. Following an open call for proposals, the Foundation will continue to organise the Prize for the next four years.


The architecture sector is at the heart of Europe's vibrant cultural and creative industries. It directly employs more than half a million people and more than 12 million work in the construction sector. The cultural and creative industries contribute up to 4.5% of the EU's GDP.

The EU 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. The prize is awarded every other year to works completed within the previous two years.

Works nominated for the Prize are put forward by independent experts from all over Europe, 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 of the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award include:

Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Iceland by Henning Larsen Architects, Batteríið Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson

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

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

Stansted Airport, London, United Kingdom by Norman Foster / Norman Foster + Partners

Banco Borges e Irmão, Vila do Conde, Portugal by Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia) has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world for over a century. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends. The architecture section of the Biennale is organised every two years.

To find out more

European Commission: Creative Europe

Androulla Vassiliou's website

EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award Biennale

Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU

Follow the EU Prize for Contemporary Archtiecture – Mies van der Rohe Award on Twitter @EUMiesAward

Follow Creative Europe on Facebook

Follow the EU Prize for contemporary architecture/ Mies van der Rohe award on Facebook

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

Mercedes Soler, Gemma Pasqual/ICE (+34 93 419 32 88)

Miriam Giordano/Labóh - dedicated to design (+34 606 602 230,+39 339 1617953

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

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