NL Architects & XVW Architectuur net top prize at 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award
Dutch studios NL Architects and XVW Architectuur have been announced as joint winners of the 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
The pair’s innovative restoration of the DeFlat Kleiburg apartment complex, situated in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer district, was the project that won one of the European Union’s highest architectural prizes.
DeFlat is one of the Netherland’s biggest residential developments. Facing demolition after years of neglect, the complex was saved from the wrecking ball after NL Architects and XVW Architectuur’s restoration.
It was the “Klusflat” rejuvenation concept that won the Dutch studio the Mies van Der Rohe Award. This approach is relatively hands off – securing DeFlat’s historic facades and architecture, while inviting occupants to renovate their individual apartments themselves. This is the first time in the prize’s history that it has been awarded to a restoration project.
The prize’s Jury Chairman said of DeFlat Kleiburg: “It challenges current solutions to the housing crisis in European cities, where too often the only ambition is to build more homes year-on-year, while the more profound question of what type of housing should be built goes unanswered.
“Kleiburg helps us imagine a new kind of architectural project, which responds to changing household patterns and lifestyles in the twenty-first century. A revitalisation of typologies of the past is as relevant as experimenting with new, untested models in this quest, just as radically transforming existing buildings is.”
Also awarded was the 2017 Emerging Architect Prize, which went to Belgian studio MSA/V+ for its Navez – 5 Social Units development. This is a housing project on the northern boundary of the Belgian capital Brussels. Regarding this project, the jury said Navez accomplishes the dual role of “representing the urban revalidation of scheme with a landmark at the entrance of the city and providing exemplary apartments for large families.”
Over 350 buildings from 36 European countries were in contention for 2017’s Mies van der Rohe award. From here, a shortlist of 40 finalists was drawn up. Ultimately though, there could only be one winner: DeFlat Kleiburg.
Check out DeFlat Kleiburg, plus Navez – 5 Social Units, below – and let us know if you think these two projects are award worthy.
DeFlat Kleiburg - NL Architects + XVW Architectuur – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Images: © Marcel van der Burg
Navez – 5 Social Units – Brussels, Belgium
Images: © Serge Brison
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