Independent Design Magazine

The Mies Van Der Rohe Award Finalists Announced

The Mies Van Der Rohe Award Finalists Announced

Mies Van De Rohe Finalist 2019 architecture Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre, Plasencia exterior1 ©Iwan-Baan

The 2019 Mies Van Der Rohe Award is now in its final stage. On February 13, 2019, the European Commission and Fundacio Mies van der Rohe announced the five finalists.

The finalists were selected from a shortlist of 40 projects in the original long list that included works located in 17 European countries. The finalists’ projects this round come from Albania, France, Germany, Spain, and Belgium. That includes works in health, Infrastructure, Education, Single houses, Culture, Mixed-use, collective housing, and urban planning.

The Winner of Mies Van Der Roha award will be announced at the end of April 2019. An award ceremony will take place on 7 May 2019 at a ceremony held in the Mies Van De Rohe pavilion in Barcelona.

The five projects are very diverse but share the common characteristics of offering flexible, multi-purpose spaces which users can interpret and use in a variety of ways, including different purposes from those for which they were designed.


Name of project: Terrassenhaus Berlin / Lobe Block
City: Berlin, Germany
Office: Brandlhuber+ Emde Burlon and Muck Petzet Architekten

The Terrassenhaus Berlin is a multi-use atelier and gallery building that combines different uses.

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Terrassenhaus Berlin, Berlin. Photo Courtesy: Erica Overmeer

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Terrassenhaus Berlin Interior Shot, Berlin. Photo Courtesy: Erica Overmeer

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Terrassenhaus Berlin Plan, Berlin

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Terrassenhaus Berlin Layout, Berlin


No constructed walls or spatial separation were executed, only the building envelope and central cores with elevators and bathrooms. Using the space is left for the users themselves, aiming to question the existing norms of defining spaces for commercial and residential usages.


Name of project: Skanderbeg Square
City: Tirana, Albania
Offices: 51N4E, Anri Sala, plant en Houtgoed and IRL.

Skanderbeg Square – in 2008 state – inspired sense of openness. It rearranges the huge ex-communist space opening it up to new interpretations.

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Skanderbeg Square, Tirana. Photo Courtesy: Filip Dujardin

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Skanderbeg Square, Tirana. Photo Courtesy: Filip Dujardin

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Skanderbeg Square, Tirana. Photo Courtesy: Filip Dujardin

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Skanderbeg Square Plan, Tirana


The site acts as the core of the capital as well as a symbol for Albania. The project turned the square into space for pedestrians formed by a collection of old and new public spaces and gardens, lined by a densely planted boundary.

“The green belt around the square is made up of 12 gardens, each of them linked to one or more of the public or private institutions lining the square. The spatial organization of these gardens, as well as their technical aspects, were studied in dialogue with all the main actors of the project over the course of several workshops. The result is a set of contextualized interventions, inviting public and semi-public neighboring functions to spread into the exterior space, thus activating the edge of the central void.” description provided by the architects.


Name of project: PC CARITAS
City:  Melle, Belgium
Office: Architecten de vylder vinck tailleu 

An old villa, that acted formally as a department in a psychiatric clinic. At that time, it didn’t stand alone, the villa was one of several other buildings that were abandoned and destroyed one after the other. The time came for this one to be demolished as well but a question was raised. What if it could be used in an innovative way?

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PC CARITAS, Melle. Photo Courtesy: Filip-Dujardin

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PC CARITAS, Melle. PhotoCourtesy: Filip-Dujardin

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PC CARITAS, Melle. Photo Courtesy: Filip-Dujardin

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PC CARITAS Plan, Melle. Photo Courtesy: Filip-Dujardin


A competition was initiated to come up with ideas for the villa. The competition proposal was to keep the building and respect it as it was found. Demolishing has already started before the competition yet halted, as a result, roof tiles were already lifted.

The basement opened to become an auditorium. Greenhouses inside the building became new rooms. Old chimneys became fireplace. A tree was built. Mineral materials have been removed to allow the building to breathe again.

To make the building an experimental space and only interfere with ideas is the main concept of this project. Avoiding waste and saving space that already exists and could be used.


Name of project: Transformation of 530 dwellings- Grand Parc Bordeaux
City: Bordeaux, France
Offices: Lacaton & vassal architects, Frederic Drout Architecture and Christophe Hutin Architecture

The building was constructed in the early ’60s and in needed new qualities to be added including more space, light, view and upgrading the existing facilities.

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Transformation of 530 Dwellings, Grand Parc Bordeaux. Buildings after Transformation. Photo Courtesy: Philippe Ruault

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Transformation of 530 dwellings, Grand Parc Bordeaux. Photo Courtesy: Philippe Ruault

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Transformation of 530 Dwellings, Grand Parc Bordeaux. New Winter Gardens. Photo Courtesy: Philippe Ruault

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Transformation of 530 Dwellings, Grand Parc Bordeaux. Extension Principle Sketch

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Transformation of 530 dwellings Plan, Grand Parc Bordeaux  

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Transformation of 530 dwellings Garden Layout, Grand Parc Bordeaux


Transforming the building had to be done with all inhabitants inside, thus interventions on the existing structure were excluded.

New winter gardens were added in front of the existing façade to give an opportunity for each apartment of enjoying more view, natural light, and space. The small windows were replaced by large sliding doors that open up to the new garden.

On the other side of the building, transparent corrugated polycarbonate panels and glass in frames were collected and equipped with reflective solar screens. This new envelope from both sides improved the energy performance of the project.


Name of project: Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre
City: Plasencia, Spain
Office: Selgascano

The center is located in Plasencia outskirts between the town and the country.

“we saw quite clearly that the work consisted of choosing between one of the boundary´s two sides: belonging to the city, to what has been touched by our generation, or belonging to slowness. Under these conditions, it was impossible to belong to both.”

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Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre, Plasencia. Photo Courtesy: Iwan-Baan

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Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre Plan, Plasencia

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Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre Section, Plasencia

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Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre Layout, Plasencia


The form was shaped due to the building section design and the aim of using minimum footprint. The centre consists of an entrance lobby located on the urbanized street level, a secondary hall for 300 spectators, that can be divided into 3 smaller ones hosting 100 people each, exhibition hall and restaurant area.