Harpa @Reykjavik Winner of 2013 Mies Van Der Rohe European Architecture Award
Congratulations to the international design team of the Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre! Sigurður Einarsson of BATTERÍID ARCHITECTS, Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen and Osbjørn Jacobsen of HENNING LARSEN ARCHITECTS and artist Olafur Eliasson are the winners of the 2013 edition with the following motivation:
Harpa’s crystalline structure was inspired by Icelandic landscapes and traditions. Its dramatic design captures and reflects the light of the city, ocean and sky to thrilling effect. Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, of Henning Larsen Architects, said: “On behalf of the team I would like to thank the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe for this award. We are immensely honoured. Harpa is the result of collaborative process that has involved many people and with their efforts, strong commitment and drive Harpa has become a symbol of Iceland’s renewed dynamism.”
Wiel Arets, Chair of the Jury, said: “Harpa’s iconic and transparent porous quasi brick appears as an ever-changing play of coloured light, promoting a dialogue between the city and the building’s interior life. By giving an identity to a society long known for its sagas, through an interdisciplinary collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects and artist Olafur Eliasson, this project is an important message to the world and to the Icelandic people, fulfilling their long expected dream.”
The winners were chosen from 335 submitted works in 37 European countries. Five works were shortlisted for the main award. The other finalists were: Market Hall (Ghent, Belgium by Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Marie-José Van Hee architecten); Superkilen (Copenhagen, Denmark by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek1, Superflex); Home for Elderly People (Alcácer do Sal, Portugal by Aires Mateus Arquitectos) and Metropol Parasol (Seville, Spain by J. Mayer H).
The jury members who selected the finalists for 2013 are: Wiel Arets, Chair of the Jury, Principal, Wiel Arets Architects, Maastricht, Dean, College of Architecture, IIT, Chicago; Pedro Gadanho, Curator, Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Antón García-Abril, Principal, Ensamble Studio; Louisa Hutton, Principal, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, Berlin; Kent Martinussen, CEO, The Danske Arkitekter Center (DAC), Copenhagen; Frédéric Migaryou, Director, Architecture & Design, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ewa Porebska, Editor-in-Chief, Architektura-murator, Warsaw; Giovanna Carnevali, Secretary of the Jury, Director, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona.
The architecture sector is at the heart of Europe’s vibrant cultural and creative industries. It directly employs more than half a million people, as well as more than 12 million in the construction sector. Architecture is part of the cultural and creative sectors, which contribute 4.5% to the EU’s GDP.
The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award highlights the contribution of European architects to the development of new ideas and technologies in contemporary urban development. Launched in 1987 and co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, the prize is the most prestigious in European architecture. It is awarded every other year to works completed within the previous two years. The winner receives €60 000. Works nominated for the Prize are put forward by independent experts, as well as by the member associations of the Architects’ Council of Europe, national architects’ associations, and the Advisory Committee for the Prize.