The Monthly European Architectural Newsletter
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June/July 2010


Architecture prizes

From the famous Pritzer Prize which honours a renowned architect every year to the Mies van der Rohe Awards and the initiatives of service providers and manufacturers (the Holcim Awards, Wienerberger Brick Awards and the “Espoirs de l’Architecture » of BNP Paribas Real Estate), the contests encourage, stimulate and reward creativity. At the same time there are significant financial contributions and prestigious awards ceremonies to which participate many personalities from the political, building and cultural world. Contests are also designed to highlight young architects who are not yet well known who sometimes come from developing countries. Without this opportunity they could have waited years for international recognition. Whatever the theme of the competitions, the way of sustainable development has to be taken in consideration. Throughout the regions and cities of the whole world it lays the bases for new buildings. Thus the goal of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture is to honour each year five contemporary architects who are following this path. The 2010 prize winners have just been revealed. There are Giancarlo Mazzanti (Colombia), Junya Ishigami (Japan), Snøhetta (Norway), Steve Baer (USA) and Troppo Architects (Australia).
On its side Archi-Europe is showing its considerable expertise in this field. Indeed after five years our group has planned and organised several contest at a world level. In 2010 for the second time with Bolognafiere (SAIE Bologna) a contest is dedicated to architects and architecture students on the theme of innovative and sustainable buildings.  The great event “ArchiWorld Academy Award”, a contest over two years (2011/2013) will let students throughout the world present their best projects in the energy saving sector.  Organised in complete cooperation with Messe München, it will end in Munich in 2013 with the official awards ceremony. Let’s remember that setting up a competition involves a lot of work. For preparation, launching, daily attention in receiving the proposals. After thorough examination of all the submitted projects the jury will nominate the prize winners in a serene and respectful spirit.

The Archi-Europe Team

Portrait of the month

SANAA, Tokyo

The 2010 Pritzker Prize rewards the work of SANAA, the practice of Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, two strong personalities behind many large architectural projects.

The Pritzker 2010 jury was seduced by the quality, the economy of resources, the sobriety and the apparent simplicity of their projects. It is a deserved recognition for Kazuyo Sejima (1957), a former collaborator of Toyo Ito and for Ryue Nishizawa (1996). The two architects merged their creative talents by founding their office SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates) in 1995. Their conceptual universe, poetic and full of surprises, creates some extraordinary spatial experiences. Their reputation became international with the Nagano O-Museum and the Kanazawa Museum of Contemporary Art of the XXI century. The latter project concentrates the strong points of the architects’ philosophy: fluid flows, new spatial combinations and lightness of materials (glass metal, textiles) proposed in different concepts.

Their minimalist look projects are underlined by a sophisticated design and implementation with absolute precision research execution. Everyone confirms the extraordinary authenticity of their work. Exploring contemporary materials and making them live by light and shadow games, highlighting the tensions between interior and exterior as well as the interaction between man and space, SANAA designed the transparent Christian Dior building in Tokyo, asymmetrically built the seven huge blocks of the New York Museum of Contemporary Art or played with concrete and glass for the Rolex Training Centre in Lausanne, an undulating building like a Mobius Strip.  The extension of the Federal Polytechnic School building presents a completely new spatial concept creating new life, learning and community frameworks.

This precision research is also noticed in the Zollverein of Management and Design, built on the site of an old coal mine (Essen, Germany). The building has an impressive concrete surface which creates a fluid space for the students. From the plan the building is a perfect rectangle but it takes on a totally organic aspect with the curves and slopes which define the interior space. Their other projects include the IVAM museum in Valencia (Spain), the Kunstlinie cultural centre in Almere (Netherlands) or the 2009 Summer Pavilion of the Serpentine Gallery in London, an undulating aluminium structure on top of a delicate system of columns which has now been dismantled. The new building on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rheim is a challenge for the architects who had until now mainly worked in the cultural field. It is an additional proof that they always have clear and simple answers to complex problems. The future Louvre-Lens museum is now in the focus. A serie of long sober grey boxes integrates perfectly the site without ostentation. This has come from a policy of decentralisation and democratisation of the Museum and this "other Louvre" will open its doors in 2012. A low structure made up of five building blocks integrates perfectly with the site without overwhelming. Alongside this project, since 2007 SANAA has implemented a program of 140 public housing spaces in Paris and will also design the renovation of the Paris department store La Samaritaine, closed since five years. This LVMH property will be refurbished in a building including shops, housing, offices and a hotel.

Despite this very heavy agenda Kazuyo Sejima will also be the organiser of the Venice Architecture Biennial, next autumn. “I have always been in favour of a more open architecture, which is for me important for a new generation of architects." To be continued.

Project of the month

Gymnasium 46° 09’ N / 16° 50’ E, Koprivnica (Croatie)
Architect: Studio up

Awarded by an “Emerging Architect Special Mention” from the European Union and the Mies der Rohe Foundation of Barcelona, this building meets particularly well the selection criteria of the Mies van der Rohe Awards: showing that contemporary architecture is important in daily life.

The Croat architects Lea Pelivan (Split, 1976) and Toma Plejic (Riijeka, 1977) both graduated in 2001 from the Zagreb University opened their architecture office two years later. They are the designers of Frameworks (a specific project for the 2004 Venice Biennial) and of several buildings in Split and Zagreb. They have transformed the image of the surrounding of Koprivnica by creating a real landmark.

The building faces a suburban zone at the end of some ambitious building projects. The point of contact of these two worlds is radically divided into two parts, black and green, full and empty. The new building complex is situated between these two extremes. A mixed program includes a sports hall and a high school. The spatial and visual overlapping of the facilities constitutes the basic operative logic underlying the building. A spacious internal "street" organizes and connects all the program elements. The compact and enigmatic volume covered with a polycarbonate skin contrasts with the vast flat environment. The architectural choice is a radical break with the local modernist tradition in building sports and school complexes.

From the structural point of view the building is in reinforced concrete on the ground floor while the upper floors are realized with steel beams. Generally, all the materials are available on the standard building market (anodised aluminium, metal grids and industrial glass) and with no special finishing, as in the case of the floor soffits which have been left unfinished. Because of its relatively high cost, the building is not air-conditioned. Therefore a system of shutters above the sports hall and the ducts through the cantilevered classrooms of the top floor ensure a constant flow of cool air during the summer months. The double polycarbonate skin creates a 'green house effect' in winter. This translucent skin is lit up at night to irradiate and turns the building into a symbolic place for the young people of Koprivnica.

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For more information:

Event in the spotlight
World Architecture Festival (WAF): where architects and architecture meet.
Enter your designs for exposure, prestige and opportunity in 2010 and beyond

WAF 2010 will take place in the CCIB in Barcelona from 3-5 November 2010 - now bigger and better, with 5 awards sections, 42 categories, covering 100+ building types.

Enter the world's biggest architecture awards program today at:
Quote ARCEUR when booking your place online.



(8 & 9/07/2010) - Wiesbaden (DE)
NICHE – Young Belgian Architecture
(> 30/09/2010) - Brussels BE)
Zaha Hadid
(> 26/06/2010) - Paris (FR)
(6 - 10/09/2010) - Valencia (ES)
PRIXDEROME.NL 2010 Architecture
(> 3/07/2010) - Amsterdam (NL)
Best of Europe. Mies van der Rohe Award 2009
(24/06 - 20/09/2010) - Vienna (AT)
SAIE 2010
(27 - 30/10/2010) - Bologna (IT)
(19/06 - 4/07/2010) - London (UK)
Brick Award 2010
(> 01/07/2010) - Zurich (CH)
>> read more


WA Community Awards /
WA Awards 8th Cycle

Deadline : 23/07/2010
Museum of the Second World War
Deadline : 13/08/2010
First Santa & Cole
Landscape Architecture Competition

Deadline : 10/09/2010
TECU Architecture Award 2010
Deadline : 15/10/2010
>> read more


1. Santiago Calatrava "Sculptectures"
Constantin Chariot
64 pages | € 20.00
Editions Fonds Mercator
French/English & Dutch/English
ISBN : 978 90 6153 950 6 & ISBN : 978 90 6153 949 0

>> read more

2. Houses of Steel - Living Steel's International Architecture Competitions
176 pages | $ 50,00
Editions Images Publishing

ISBN 978 1 86470 366 5
>> read more

3. Typology+
Ebner, P., Herrmann, E., Höllbacher, R., Kuntscher, M., Wietzorrek, U.
432 pages |
Editions Birkhäuser
ISBN 978-3-0346-0087-3

>> read more


Copyright 2010 Archi-Europe Group nv/sa
Responsible Editor : Jacques Allard
Chief Editor : Marie-Claire Regniers
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