Ever since it started back in 1988, the Europan awards have been a golden opportunity for young architects to build something for the first time, at home or abroad. Nowadays it is less likely that winners can actually land a commission, even with first prize to show for, and the recompense has all but been reduced to prestige and a certain amount of money. Nevertheless, Europan continues to draw plenty of participation. The 13th edition, themed ‘The Adaptable City: Self-Organization / Sharing / Project (Process),’ has brought in as many as 1,305 proposals from 49 locations in 14 European countries.
The national juries drew up a shortlist of proposals between July and October. These jury sessions were followed by a European comparative analysis of the shortlisted ideas, which took place in November in Bratislava. The final selection of the winning projects by the national juries also took place that month.
As it was announced in December 2015, this time around the 15 national juries selected a total of 93 projects – 44 winners and 49 coming in second – plus 61 honorable mentions. As always in the past, Spanish teams have stood out, raking in the largest number of awards (10 first prizes, 10 second prizes, 10 finalists, most of them for sites located outside Spain). This record is yet another reconfirmation of the excellent health of the country’s youngest crop of architecture, and augurs a bright future for a profession that has, unfortunately, been very badly affected by the economic crisis.