Announced today, the Berlin Neues Museum designed by David Chipperfield is the recipient of this years prestigious EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The Neues Museum is the result of blending old and new; the original Museum was designed by Friedrich August Stüler in the mid-19th century. Substantially damaged in the Second World War reconstruction of the Museum began in 2003. Jury Chair Mohsen Mostafavi, shared the following about the building, “The rebuilding of the Neues Museum is an extraordinary achievement. Rarely have an architect and client succeeded in undertaking a work of such historic importance and complexity; especially one that involves both preservation and new building. The project raises and addresses many aesthetic, ethical, and technical issues. It is an exemplary demonstration of what collaboration can achieve in the context of contemporary European architectural practice.” Also announced today was the recipient of ‘The Emerging Architect Special Mention’ award, given to Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro for the Collage House in Girona, Spain. The awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona on June 20th. More details about this announcement following the break.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: “My congratulations to our winners who have created two exceptional buildings. The Neues Museum brings the past and present together in an stunning mix of contemporary architecture, restoration and art. The Collage House in Girona is another remarkable renovation which fuses old and new materials in a harmonious whole.” David Chipperfield, who worked on the project in collaboration with fellow British architect Julian Harrap, adopted a dynamic approach in his restoration. Rather than attempting to conceal the difference between the old and new elements, the past and present are beautifully combined to create an unforgettable building with multiple layers. David Chipperfield, Principal of David Chipperfield Architects, said: “The reconstruction of the Neues Museum is a testament to the collaborative process undertaken in a demanding climate of public opinion. The result is evidence not only of the efforts of the professional team but of the commitment of the client and the city authorities to engage in this rigorous and articulated process.” Lluís Hortet, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, said: “The decision of the jury was an extraordinary challenge due to the high quality of all the finalist projects. The Neues Museum by David Chipperfield is a very important statement of how a contemporary architectural intervention contributes to the re-use of our heritage by improving its functional qualities and introducing outstandingly designed new architectorial elements for its museological purpose.”