The Atlas of Contemporary European Architecture brings together for the first time all the projects nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van de Rohe Award from its first edition in 1988 to its twenty-fourth in 2015 . A total of 2,881 projects that together constitute a journey through the multiplicity and variety of architectural works that have configured European territory over the last thirty years.
The Atlas, the latest publication venture by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, combines essays, photographs , sketches, graphs, history and histories which provide a critical view of the European architectural scenario by tracing the configuration of the European Union through the changes it has undergone and the challenges it has had to meet in a globalised world.
Now, thirty years after the first edition of the Prize, time and the great number of works nominated allow us to observe and analyse this set of images in the great Atlas of Contemporary European Architecture. As a result of this process, people involved over many years with the Prize have been invited to commit their reflections to writing. Diane Gray and Dietmar Steiner recount the history of the Prize and its evolution on the basis of their direct commitment. ‘People need to know that these ideas [behind each work of architecture] facilitate and enrich everyday life’ notes Diane Gray, coordinator of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award from 1988 to 2013.
Urban configuration generated by public space is analysed by architecture critic Hans Ibelings. Architects Zaida Muxí and Josep Maria Montaner contribute to the Atlas with an article on collective housing. ‘It is a surprising fact that across the fourteen award editions 418 single-family dwellings have been nominated as against 251 collective housing projects’ they comment. On the other hand, Francesc Muñoz, doctor in geography, provides a territorial view in which he takes European political, social and geographical changes into account.
The Atlas of Contemporary European Architecture project has been brought to fruition thanks to the enthusiasm and passion of hundreds of professional architects, critics, politicians, clients and citizens who together have collaborated to improve the quality of life in Europe. ‘It is hard to forget the emotion with which the Mayor of Szczecin and his team received the 2015 Award as representatives of their city, or that of the owner of Casa Luz when she saw how her contribution was acknowledged to the recovery of a small town in Extremadura’ comments Ivan Blasi, coordinator of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
The publication will be presented on Monday, November 14, at 18:30h at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion and attended by Daniel Mòdol, President Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Anna Ramos, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, by the Atlas editors, Celia Marín and Marina Romero, and by some of the authors of the articles and people linked with the Mies van der Rohe Award.