31 May, 2024 @ 14:21
1 min read

German university campus and Barcelona library are winning designs at Europe’s top architect awards

STUDYING and reading are the winning themes in this year’s prestigious architecture awards.

The two main prizes in the EU Mies award (formerly the Mies van der Rohe award) went to a university study facility in Germany and a city library in Spain.

The Study Pavilion at the Technical University of Braunschweig is ‘joyous’ as the Olive Press discovered on a visit this month.

Featuring slender steel beams, wooden ribbed decks and glass facades, it emphasises sustainability and reusability.

The Study Pavilion TU Braunschweig. Photo by Leonhard Clemens

The clever use of materials allows for different configurations, which can be changed for various student activities and events.

Designed by Gustav Düsing, 30 and Max Hacke, 28, the judges praised how it ‘promotes social exchange and interdisciplinary knowledge between students and teachers alike’. 

The building was chosen from a list of 40 finalists around Europe with the judges also liking the rigour and precision of the project, which came in under its budget of €5.2 million.

Awarding the €60,000 prize they added the building had ‘a clear architectural idea, scrutinised it and pushed it to the limit.’.

The Emerging Architecture Prize (also part of the EU Mies award, the EU’s biennial prize for contemporary architecture) meanwhile, was handed to the Gabriel García Márquez Library in Barcelona.

The Gabriel García Márquez Library. P

Designed by Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano of SUMA Arquitectura, the library was planned as a cultural hub for the community.

Its design features a full-height atrium and a series of stacked, perforated spaces, symbolising the form of books.

The library’s structure integrates laminated and cross-laminated timber with steel, and the interior spaces are organised around a central triangular courtyard.

This design not only provides a welcoming environment for library users but also pays homage to the architectural traditions of Barcelona’s Eixample district

Judges said that both projects reflect the principles of the New European Bauhaus, emphasising the integration of green transition concepts into everyday living spaces.

The award ceremony took place at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona.

Originally dismantled after the exposition, it was rebuilt according to the original plans in 1986 and inspired the creation of the biennial awards ceremony two years later.

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