EUmies Awards 2022
On 16 June, the 7 members of the jury met online for the first time. This became the opportunity to meet and introduce each other and to share first impressions of the task ahead. From that day on, the individual review of the 532 nominated projects began and a second online meeting took place on 14 October in which the projects were discussed and a first draft selection of works was agreed upon for face-to-face debate.
The debate sessions took place in Barcelona on 27, 28 and 29 November 2021, concluding with the selection of 40 shortlisted works, 5 of which were finalists in the Architecture category and two of which finalists in the Emerging category.
This long 3-day session began without a pre-set agenda by the members of the jury, developed through an active, involved and open attitude based on dialogue and debate between the various positions of each member. The vocation shared by the members of the jury from the beginning has been to convey a message to the architectural community, and beyond it, through the election of the group of shortlisted and especially through the group of finalists and winners. A vision not based on the performance of comparative standards but on the grouping of complementary diversities with high added value as extraordinary contributions in different and specific contexts.
From 30 March to 5 April 2022, the jury made the trip to visit the 5 works it had chosen as finalists. Visits in this process have been essential to deepen the debate on the 5 finalist projects and decide the winner. The experience of living the space in first person and the opportunity to hear the agents involved in the process of each of them, not only of the authors, but also clients, inhabitants, users and promoters to understand the complexity of each of the works has been essential.
EUmies Awards 2022 Architecture Finalists
The jury wants to highlight how important it is that this project was built in our time in the heart of a European capital such as Berlin. It is a work that was born as a reaction to the situation of expulsion of small businesses from the city centre (due to the pressure of the real estate market) and that proposes an alternative to build a city through the development of a new cooperative management model that brings them together. This is a life project that started 10 years ago at the hands of two architects who have acted as promoters and who have led a long and complex process of dialogue with the public administration and other agents. The role of architects as curators of the concept and process should be emphasized. A process that is reflected in the building through the constructed unitary grouping of individual particularities. The notion of hybridization is really well done, and it is up to the people to propose the use to activate the ground floor. The interior space quality of each of the different units is very good and the details work very well. The sense of community is built through the two community terraces, creating unique and privileged places in the city centre.
The Railway Farm is also a bottom-up process but in this case it is done with a total vocation of social return through the creation of a meeting place for the people of the neighbourhood, integrating and welcoming people at risk of social exclusion through the implementation of urban agriculture production as the central strategy. The architects project a small paradise, in what was a leftover plot, consisting of two architectural pieces very well fitted in terms of scale and placement erected around a community vegetable garden. This area becomes the heart of the project and both the students and people at risk of exclusion living there taken care of it. The jury wants to highlight how well the project fits in programmatic terms and the great value it brings as a pioneering project in carrying out a strategy that revolves around the concept of return and reuse. The coherence of this attitude of reuse and reintegration through making is also applied to the construction process in which the inhabitants of the place actively participate, resulting in bricolage architecture.
Frizz 23 and Railway Farm are the result of bottom-up processes in which architects take on the role of promoters and managers. In the other three works, they respond to commissions, via competitions, made by public clients.
The Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture represents excellence in the way it intervenes in a historical context through its reinterpretation from a contemporary perspective. It is a work conceived from a careful and delicate listening and observation of the place, conceiving a piece of complex architecture that fits in the urban ensemble of which it becomes part. Its interior unfolds as a compilation of variable exhibition spaces that form a sort of spatial labyrinth that immerses the visitor in a unique architectural and artistic experience. The building is the result of an extensive and rich research process, an intersection between the craftsmanship of ceramics and the art of detail through which the concept of threshold is recovered and reinvented. The jury wants to emphasize the quality of the work in relation to the limited budget with which it has been made.
85 Social Housing Units in Cornellà
The jury considers that the building of 85 Social Housing Units in Cornellà is an extraordinary achievement in the context of contemporary social public housing. It represents the materialization of a typology of housing developed in the contemporary theoretical framework but not yet in an extensive and public scale. This work is an exceptional case that brings innovation and experimentation in the field of social housing to propose ways of living outside the socially assumed conventionality. This is a paradigmatic project that should serve as a guide to establish new models of living and introduce them to the market of public and private developers. The quality and atmosphere achieved in each of the units is incredibly high: the height of the ceilings, the gallery space, the notion of continuous space, the cross diagonal views, etc. provides an unusual level of comfort and richness in social housing. This building provides an optimistic vision and light on the matter from which cities, housing, and everyday life architecture are made. The design of the details and the construction achieved are perfect, they stand out, they far exceed the difficulty of sticking to a very limited budget.
EUmies Awards 2022 Architecture Winner
The jury unanimously decided on Town House – Kingston University as the winning work. This work represents the completeness of architectural excellence in terms of programme, construction and urban implementation, a piece of carefully developed humble humanism. Town House becomes a building for everyone, generous, open and inclusive, that creates an overwhelming environment, both specific and plural. It is a place for people from different backgrounds to gather in a real space, a place to meet, especially, after the pandemic, a monumental building in its proportion and in its inner atmosphere, which has the ability to excite and elevate study and learning as a pillar value for society. Our society needs public projects with this quality: it is like a palazzo, a palace for everybody. The building creates an emotional experience from within and through the multilevel façade colonnade that creates a domestic atmosphere on different levels. It accommodates dance, library and study spaces using layers of silence and layers of sound which work perfectly well together.
For the first time in the history of the Prize, the jury decided to choose two works as finalists in the Emerging category: La Borda – Cooperative Housing in Barcelona and the Enrico Fermi School in Turin.
EUmies Awards 2022 Emerging Finalist
Enrico Fermi School
With the selection of this work as a finalist, the jury wants to emphasize the importance of intelligently and strategically intervening in the existing building stock, improving it in such an extraordinary way. The intervention carried out at the Enrico Fermi school in Turin completely transforms the existing, making the pedagogical experience change, hand in hand with the architectural one. The jury wants to highlight the skill and delicacy in converting the existing building into a new site rich in new semi-exterior spaces and high-quality interior atmospheres that dignify the educational experience.
EUmies Awards 2022 Emerging Winner
La Borda – Cooperative Housing
The cooperative project is built like a home-scale paradise, creating community and the materialization of the meaning of community. It is made up of large volumes of spaces equipped to carry out household chores collectively, such as doing laundry or cooking, thus building privileged meeting places for the community. It is transgressive in its context because although housing production is mainly dominated by macroeconomic interests, in this case, the model is based on co-ownership and co-management of shared resources and capacities. The model goes beyond the specific project of cooperative housing: the studio is also run as a cooperative where fourteen professionals with different expertise offer a role model and an active tool for promoting political and urban change from within the system, based on social, ecological and economic sustainability.
Tatiana Bilbao, Jury Chairwoman
Anna Ramos, secretary