And the prize goes to… Katowice building up for prestigious Mies van der Rohe award
A building in Poland has been shortlisted for the prestigious European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
The Department of Radio and Television of the University of Silesia in Katowice, south-western Poland, is among forty buildings to make the list.
The prize is named after German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, director of the Bauhaus school of modern architecture. Born in Aachen in 1886, he moved to the United States after the Nazis’ rise to power. He died in Chicago in 1969.
Awarded every two years, the prize’s aims include “to recognise and commend excellence in European architecture in conceptual, social, cultural, technical and constructive terms,” according to its website.
Buildings are nominated by independent experts from across Europe, along with architects’ associations. This year, 18 were nominated from Poland, but just one made the shortlist – alongside seven from France, six from Spain and four from Belgium, among others.
Completed in 2017, the Department of Radio and Television’s in central Katowice was designed by Warsaw-based Grupa 5 Architekci, Bass Arquitectes from Barcelona and Małeccy Biuro Projektowe in Katowice. Combining red brick, wood and glass, it combines traditional Silesian elements with more modern ones.
The Department seeks to combine creation and teaching in the field of art with innovative ICT technologies. It includes a two-story cinema, a projection room and studio space.
The building cost 38.5 million złoty (almost 9 million euros), of which almost 33 million came from a subsidy from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
At the opening, Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, who is also Minister of Science and Higher Education, called it “some of the best-invested ministerial funds”.
“It is extremely functional, but I also think that in terms of art it will become one of the attractions not only of Katowice, not only Silesia as a whole, but, I think, one of the aesthetic attractions of Poland,” he added.
The building has already been recognised in Poland, winning the Bryła Roku prize for 2017.
“Since the moment it was built, the building has had its own climate and soul, which is extremely rare in architecture,” said one of the members of the jury Katarzyna Furgalińska at the time.