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Celebrating new architecture in Europe - 18/04/2011

Berlin's Neues museum wins the 2011 Mies van der Rohe award for contemporary architecture.

Sir David Chipperfield's revamp of a prominent 19th century building in the German capital was described by the chair of the judging panel as an "extraordinary achievement". The British architect and his team merged new and existing features to restore the war-damaged site to its former glory. He will receive €60 000 at an awards ceremony in Barcelona on 20 June.

The biennial EU prize for contemporary architecture - also known as the Mies van der Rohe award - was launched in 1987 to celebrate excellence and encourage up-and-coming talent in architecture. Any building less than two years old which contributes to city life, from a private home to large-scale infrastructure project, can be nominated.

The Neues museum was among 343 works from across 33 European countries that were put forward by professionals in the field. The five other finalists were the Bronks youth theatre (Brussels); the Museum of XXI century arts (Rome); the Concert house Danish radio (Copenhagen); the Acropolis museum (Athens) and the Rehabilitation centre Groot Klimmendaal in the Netherlands.

Casa Collage, a housing project in Girona, Spain won the ‘emerging architect special mention' prize. Collaborators Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro will be awarded €20 000 for their creation.

Past winners of the award include the UK's Stansted airport in 1990 and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in 2009.

Architecture makes a significant contribution to cultural and creative industries, which provide jobs for 8.5 million people in the EU and contribute 4.5% to Europe's gross domestic product. The EU Culture Programme - with a total budget of €400m for 2007-13 - supports collaborative projects in the field of architecture and cultural heritage.

More on the EU architecture prize

EU culture programme

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