Grafton Architects has been named the winner of the 2022 Mies Van der Rohe Award for contemporary architecture for Kingston University, London. Judges commended the architects for designing a building that creates an excellent atmosphere for studying, dancing, gathering and being together. “The building creates an emotional experience from within and through the multi-level 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. This is the first time that a university building has won the architecture prize and it shows that there is a need for public educational projects with the quality of this one, which dignifies people’s lives through education and being together and gives the same educational possibilities to everybody.”

The 2022 winner of the Emerging Architecture Prize is Spanish architecture collective Lacol for the La Borda cooperative housing in Barcelona. According to judges, this cooperative project 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 14 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.”

The two awarded projects were chosen from a list of 532 works from 41 countries. Five architecture finalists were selected and visited by the jury – Z33 House for Art, Architecture and Design in Hasselt; Town House – Kingston University in London; the Railway Farm in Paris; 85 social housing units in Cornellà de Llobregat; and Frizz23 in Berlin.


Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine


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