Prague Náplavka project nominated for prestigious Mies van der Rohe prize

The 'Prague Eyes - Riverfront Revitalisation' project is among the 40 works of European architecture that made the shortlist.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 19.01.2022 13:04:00 (updated on 19.01.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced the shortlisted works that will compete in the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

The Prague Eyes - Riverfront Revitalisation project is among the 40 projects that made the prestigious list. It is the only Czech work to receive a nod. The shortlisted works are spread out across 18 different European countries; the majority represent collective housing.

The EU Mies Award is given biannually to works completed within the previous two years, however, this year’s shortlist incorporates works from the past 2.5 years as the coronavirus pandemic delayed the award.

The prize is named for modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe whose work can be seen in Brno’s iconic Villa Tugendhat, which the pioneering German-American architect built for the Tugendhat family in 1929 with designer Lilly Reich. The "glass house" stands as the only example of Czech modernist architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Prague Eyes project was among 532 works nominated for 2022. An expert jury drew up a shortlist of 40 entries for the next phase of the prize.

Austria has 5 shortlisted works (Neustift im Stubaital, Wiener Neustadt, Linz and 2 in Vienna), 5 more are in France (Guécélard, Romainville, Saint-Jean-de-Boiseau and 2 in Paris), and 5 in Spain (Cornellà de Llobregat, Puig-Reig and 3 in Barcelona).

Three shortlisted works from Belgium (Brussels, Ghent, and Hasselt) made the list, 3 more in Germany (all in Berlin), and 3 in the United Kingdom (Helensburgh and 2 in London). There are 2 works in Denmark (Ebeltoft and Ribe), Finland (Helsinki and Vantaa), Poland (Oświęcim and Rybnik), and Portugal (both in Lisbon).

Additional works are from Greece (Kourouta, Amaliada), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Turin), the Netherlands (Tilburg), Norway (Stavanger), Romania (Bucharest), and Slovenia (Ptuj).

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The award committee describes the revitalization of the Prague riverfront area as the Czech capital’s “largest investment in public space of the post-totalitarian era after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the first of its kind.”

It goes on to detail the project’s sociocultural impact. “It brings life to the public space with 20 vaults in the riverside wall serving as cafes, workshops, galleries, space for meetings, and public toilets.”

The July 2019 renovation of the cubicles on Prague’s Náplavka by Petr Janda of the brainwork studio saw the installation of unique rotating glass lenses into formerly unused spaces along the embankment wall of the east side of the Vltava river.

Naplavka
Photo via Boys Play Nice.

The project took a decade to implement and was nominated for a Czech Architecture award in 2020. It cost the city of Prague two hundred million crowns.

The glass used to create the massive windows, located in just six of the 20 spaces, is 7 cm thick, 5 meters in diameter, weight over 1.5 tons in weight and is typically used in giant aquariums. It was imported from Thailand.

The EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – the Mies van der Rohe Award, highlights the contribution of architecture to sustainable development. 

“Rethinking the way we are building is a must. High-quality architecture is a cornerstone of the European Commission’s approach to sustainability. In redefining European architects’ role as caregivers, architecture contributes to the European Green deal and its cultural component: the ‘New European Bauhaus,’” said EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

naplavka
Photo via Boys Play Nice.

The five finalists will be announced on February 16, 2022. The Architecture and Emerging Winners will be announced in mid-April in Brussels.

According to the organizers, the shortlisted works will be open to the public during the EU Mies Award Day in May. Dates and more details will be announced on www.eumiesaward.com and its social media channels.

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