Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024: two Polish studios among the 40 nominees!

The Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024 is an award that many architects dream of. It has been awarded every two years since 1987 on the initiative of the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, which promotes the work of one of the most important creators of international style.

In Poland, at the moment, only one project can boast such an award. It is the Szczecin Philharmonic, but it was designed not by Poles, but by Spanish architects from the Barozzi Veiga studio. This honourable group may soon be joined by two Polish studios. We are talking about the KWK Promes studio led by Robert Konieczny, and the architectural studio of Aleksandra Wasilkowska. For which projects have these architects been nominated to the so-called shortlist of the European Union’s 40 best projects? Read on!

Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024 – KWK Promes

Let’s start with Robert Konieczny and the KWK Promes studio he runs, which was nominated thanks to the Plato Contemporary Art Gallery, located in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The amazing building, which formerly (in the 19th century) served as a slaughterhouse, has been transformed into a completely unique place thanks to the talent of Robert Konieczny and his team consisting of: Michał Lisiński; Dorota Skóra; Tadeáš Goryczka; Marek Golab-Sieling; Agnieszka Wolny-Grabowska; Krzysztof Kobiela; Adrianna Wycisło; Mateusz Białek; Jakub Bilan; Wojciech Fudala; Katarzyna Kuzior; Karol Knap; Damian Kuna; Magdalena Orzeł-Rurańska; Elżbieta Siwiec; Anna Szewczyk; Jakub Pielecha; Kinga Wojtanowska.

A characteristic feature and a kind of trademark of the building are the huge movable walls flush with the façade. It is also worth noting that in addition to the reconstruction of the building itself, the architects from KWK Promes revitalised the area around the building, turning it into an art park. This is what the architects themselves say about the redevelopment of the building: ‘By saving the historic building and transforming it into an art gallery, we introduced a solution that makes art more democratic. By turning the walls in an unusual way, the art goes outside the building. We have transformed the space around the gallery, which was previously polluted, into a biodiverse art park for the benefit of local residents.” The realisation has already been recognised in the Czech Republic itself, where the building has received the country’s most important award, the Grand Prix Architektů 2023. We are keeping our fingers firmly crossed for success!

photos: Juliusz Sokolowski / http://www.juliuszsokolowski.pl/

Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024 – Pracownia Architektoniczna Aleksandra Wasilkowska

The second Polish studio nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024 is Pracownia Architektoniczna Aleksandra Wasilkowska. The award-winning realisation concerns the Market in Błonia. The realisation delights for many reasons, but we are most pleased by the fact that such magnificent, world-class architecture can also be created in small towns, and not only in rich metropolises. All it takes is talent, cleverness and ingenious solutions. This is exactly what characterises the architect herself and her realisation. In creating the realisation, the architect collaborated with experts from various professions and companies with different specialisations. Among them were Daniel Przybyłek, Tomasz Mikołajuk, Marcin Cisek, Florbud, Zab-Bud, Tomasz Rogulski, Monika Oleśko, Karolina Kotlicka, Agnieszka Lanko, Alicja Rudowska and Konrad Suliński.

The restored open market is located in a small village near Warsaw. The local community has been cultivating market traditions for centuries and the market is very popular and has for years provided access to cheap, good quality food sold directly by producers and farmers. The municipality of Błonie decided to revitalise it to address the poor sanitary standards and lack of basic market infrastructure.

The hybrid public space combines two social functions – a park and a bazaar. White roofs reflect the sun’s rays and provide shelter from the rain. Stepped merchant storefronts can be used as seating and a space for spontaneous gatherings. At the heart of the market is a bar connected to a children’s play area and a community table. Naturalistic islands of greenery have been designed around the canopies and pavilions. Trees and shrubs, which provide food and shelter for birds and insects, offer additional shade for outdoor trading posts once they reach a certain height. Rainwater from the roof is retained in rain bowls, with excess watering the plants and soaking into the soil. Various landscaping elements such as bike racks, boulders, bird and insect houses, a communal table, and a play garden with wood-carved animal-shaped rockers complete the overall design. A hybrid between a park and a bazaar, the Błonie Market improves the microclimate, enhances micro-entrepreneurship and provides residents with access to locally produced food outdoors, strengthening the local community.

Ms Alexandra, Mr Robert – we are keeping our fingers crossed for you, your teams and your realisations. We hope that both realisations will meet in the final!

For those interested, the full shortlist of 40 realisations is available HERE!

Mies van der Rohe Awards 2024 / https://eumiesawards.com
KWK Promoes / https://www.kwkpromes.pl/
Pracownia Architektoniczna Aleksandra Wasilkowska / https://www.wasilkowska.com/

Plato Gallery / Juliusz Sokolowski / http://www.juliuszsokolowski.pl /
Błonia Market / Nate Cook / https://natecookphotography.com/

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