Mies van der Rohe Award 1999


Kunsthaus de Bregenz

In March, from the Bauhaus in Weimar, the year’s continental capital of culture, a jury that included Dominique Perrault, Oriol Bohigas and Wilfried Wang announced the winner of the sixth annual Mies van der Rohe Award for Architecture. The judges of this biennial contest among buildings constructed on European soil had previously picked out 33 finalists from the 123 nominated by different professional associations and a committee of experts. The Kunsthaus in the Austrian town of Bregenz by the Swiss Peter Zumthor made it through the last round against works such as the Museum of Modern Art and Architecture in Stockholm by the Spaniard Rafael Moneo, the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt by the British Norman Foster, the house on the outskirts of Bordeaux by the Dutch Rem Koolhaas, or the Beyeler Foundation in Basel by the Italian Renzo Piano. The decision to honor this art center on the shores of Lake Constance – a withdrawn cube that hides its galleries behind an envelope of milky white scales – was founded upon its spatial qualities, material refinement and perfect urban insertion.

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