• In the general category, the award went to the Town House building at Kingston University in London, a project by the Irish office Grafton Architects

The “transgressive” cooperative housing project La Bordabuilt in the Sants neighborhood of Barcelona since 2018, the work of the Catalan cooperative of architects Lacolhas won this Tuesday the Mies van der Rohe Award 2022 in the emerging category. The winner in the general category was the construction of the Town House building at Kingston University in London, a project by the Irish firm Grafton Architects.

The two projects awarded with this award, granted every two years by the European Union (EU) and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation and endowed with 60,000 euros, have been chosen from a list of 532 works from 41 countries.

The jury has described the initiative of La Borda as “transgressive in its context because although the production of housing is dominated mainly by macroeconomic interests, in this case, the model is based on co-ownership and co-management of shared resources and capacities”. According to his assessment, “the model goes beyond the specific cooperative housing project: the studio also functions as a cooperative where 14 professionals with different backgrounds offer a model to follow and an active tool to promote political and urban change from within the system , based on social, ecological and economic sustainability.

Community spaces

The building is designed on a public site donated by the Barcelona City Council, it has 28 private homes and several community spaces to promote social contact between the residents of the block, such as, for example, a shared kitchen, a dining room, a laundry or a meeting room.

The particularity of this property, in which five of the members of the Lacol architects’ cooperative also live, is that the inhabitants of a private dwelling also act as co-owners of the building as a whole, and participate in the organization of public activities. In total, the block has more than 60 resident members, who live in a sustainable building, since it is built with wood.

Town House Building

The jury of the Mies van der Rohe award has also distinguished the Irish firm Grafton Architectyes, for the Town House building at Kingston University Londonwhich has won among the five finalists, including a block of 85 social housing units in the Catalan town of Cornellà de Llobregat.

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It is the first time that a university building has received the award. This communal space of “remarkable environmental quality”, in the opinion of the jury, creates “an excellent place to study, dance, meet and be together”, since it is conceived as a meeting point within the faculty, where you can find everything from dance halls to cafeterias and libraries.

The prizes will be awarded on May 12 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.


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