The European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation have announced that Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects and La Borda cooperative housing by Lacol are the recipients of the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award. Winner of the Architecture Category, Kingston University Town House was awarded for its "remarkable environmental quality that creates an excellent atmosphere for studying, gathering, dancing and being together". The 2022 Emerging Architecture Prize was given to La Borda cooperative housing by Lacol in Barcelona, commended for its "co-ownership and co-management of shared resources and capacities".
Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects features a multi-level façade colonnade which creates an emotional and domestic atmosphere across the structure's different levels. The project accommodates dance and study spaces harmoniously, merging layers of silence and layers of sound without interfering with one another. The project marks the first time that a university building wins the architecture prize, highlighting the potential of public educational projects, and how projects with similar qualities "dignifies people’s lives through education and togetherness and gives equal educational possibilities to everybody".
As explained by the architects, La Borda cooperative housing by Lacol is a structure organized by its functions and users to access "decent, non-speculative housing that places its use value in the center, through a collective structure". The project is considered transgressive compared to other housing projects since it goes beyond cooperative housing, and runs as a space where fourteen professionals with different expertise offer an active tool for promoting urban change based on social, ecological, and economic sustainability.
The original list of nominees featured 532 projects completed between October 2018 and April 2021 in 41 countries, that "highlight the opportunities and the trends of today’s architecture in the European territory", focusing on Social Inclusion, Sustainability and Circularity, and Aesthetic Research. Earlier this year, the list was narrowed down to 7 finalists, 5 projects in the Architecture category and 2 in the Emerging Architecture category, all of which "encourage and become models and references for local city policies".
The EUmies Awards Day Ceremony will take place on 12 May at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, and will include talks by the Mayor of Barcelona, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and the President of Fundació Mies van der Rohe, as well as an exhibition of models, texts, videos, sketches, and drawings of the 40 shortlisted works.