On January 16 Wroclaw will become the European Capital of Culture and it will start it off with the exhibition “Made in Europe” curated by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe and organized jointly with the Creative Europe program of the European Commission and the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw.
“Made in Europe”
January 16 – March 13,
Museum of Architecture in Wrocław
50-156 Wrocław, Poland
The exhibition traces the evolution of architecture through the European Union’s Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award since its inception in 1988. 150 models, the chronology of events that took place, together with the Prize in the cultural, political and technological fields, interviews with the winners of the Prize and the new videos on European Identity understood by 16 European architectural teams, trace the path of the construction of the European territory over the past quarter of a century.
The icons of modern architecture, works of the best architects and design studios across Europe are designs that have permanently changed the face of today’s cities. More than 3,000 of such buildings will be presented during the Made in Europe exhibition inaugurating the program of the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016, which will open in the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw on 16 January 2016.
Made in Europe is a unique story about the last 25 years of European architecture. The exhibition sums up the history of the Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Union’s most important prize in the field of contemporary architecture, awarded since 1988 by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation in Barcelona. In this competition there are no limits to the scale or function of a structure. From the great architectural guidelines to small projects – all previous editions have taken into account private houses, public buildings, museums and cultural institutions, sports facilities, education and health care facilities, as well as large-scale infrastructure projects and transport systems. Their common denominator is that they all contribute to shaping the cities and are a proof of the important contribution of European professionals in the development of the latest architectural solutions, technology and ecology.
The exhibition impressively juxtaposes close to 150 models of buildings awarded with the main prize, a special prize for young architects and structures entered in the so-called “short list” qualifying for the finals, as well as visualizations of about 3,000 projects submitted for the award since 1988. Among them are such well-known objects as the famous Waterloo railway station in London designed by Nicolas Grimshaw & Partners design studio and awarded with the main prize in 1994, the characteristic cylindrical body of the London skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe designed by Norman Foster, which reached the final in 2005’s edition, the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art MUSAC – a project of Mansilla + Tunon Arquitectos team awarded the main prize in 2007, an innovative building of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, designed by Snohetta office and awarded in 2009 or the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik – awarded in 2013 to Henning Larsen Architects. Among the models there are two Polish projects which qualified for the final group in 2013 – the reinforced concrete tram-train station at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, designed by Zbigniew Maćków (Maćków Design Studio), as well as the Scientific Information Centre and Academic Library in Katowice by the Koszalin studio HS99.
All the works nominated for the competition over the past 25 years are presented in the form of project documentation organized in an extensive database – sketches, photographs, plans, maps and information on 160 meters of fabric mounted on a metal structure. The exhibition is accompanied by films made by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, which constitute a kind of a media guide for the exhibition: they show the process of its creation, selection of materials in the foundation’s archives and the concept of timeline presentation, on which all the projects are positioned. The presentation is complemented by interviews with the winners of the main and special prizes, organizers’ speeches and a statistical summary of the geographical distribution of all the submitted projects. The exhibition also features a digital version here.
Made in Europe is one of the main events of the opening weekend of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 (15 – 17 January 2016). So far, the exhibition has been presented only at the last Biennale in Venice at the Palazzo Michiel and in Shanghai during the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2015 (SUSAS). Part of the Wroclaw’s edition of Made in Europe is the presentation of the “European Identity” project – an attempt to answer the question about the identity of European architecture. Being a part of the debate accompanying the project, we would also like to invite you to meet and discuss with the designers of the Polish structures featured in the competition.
MIES VAN DER ROHE AWARD
Made in Europe exhibition, including the prize winners from 1988 to 2013, is complemented by the presentation of one of last year’s winners of the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. The exhibition presents a selection of the most important structures of the European architecture of the last two years. It is a special edition, as on its “short list” were three projects carried out in Poland – a complex of the new Silesian Museum in Katowice, designed in the Austrian studio Riegler Riewe Architekten, Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin in Warsaw, constructed according to the design of the Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki and the Szczecin Philharmonic, the work of architect duo from Barcelona studio Veiga/Barozzi – Alberto Veiga from Spain and Fabrizio Barozzi from Italy, which became the first Polish building to receive the main prize in the competition.
The exhibitions presented in the Museum of Architecture from 16 January to 27 March 2016 will be accompanied by an extensive program of meetings with architects and debates on the condition of contemporary European architecture.