The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design have presented Netherlands-based architecture firm Mecanoo with Europe's highest award of architecture for the year 2021. The jury awarded the firm for their human-centered approach that prioritizes the "enrichment of human life through a lens of generosity and freedom of use", benefiting the users socially, ecologically and economically.
Founded by Francine Houben in 1984, the multidisciplinary architecture firm includes a team of international architects, designers, and engineers, with offices in Delft, New York, and Taiwan. Mecanoo’s architecture ethos is to "design places for people and beginning the process of exploring the urban environment and observing the life which inhabits it".
As one of Europe’s most creative and cutting-edge offices, Mecanoo has shaped unique solutions for each varying situation, in which the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, landscape and interior combine in a non-traditional way. Over the years, they have learned that functions inevitably change, requiring an amazing amount of creative flexibility and acute aesthetic dexterity in order to create buildings that are prepared for (un)predictable change.-- Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President, The Chicago Athenaeum
Related ArticleHenning Larsen Wins 2019 European Prize for Architecture
A formal ceremony was held at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on September 10 to announce the winners. The European Prize for Architecture is awarded annually by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The award is given to architects who highlight European humanism through the art of architecture, and honors the achievements of European architects who have created a more "critical, intellectual, and artistic approach to the design of buildings and cities".
Previous Laureates include Bjarke Ingels (Denmark), Graft Architects (Germany), TYIN Architects (Norway), Marco Casagrande (Finland), Alessandro Mendini (Italy), Santiago Calatrava (Spain/Switzerland), LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Germany), Manuelle Gautrand (France), Sergei Tchoban (Russia/Germany), and Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark).