Kursaal, San Sebastián
In its seventh edition, the Mies van der Rohe Award went to the Kursaal of San Sebastian, thereby completing with a Europe-wide honor the recognition obtained by Rafael Moneo’s building in the Biennial of Spanish Architecture. A jury formed by Wiel Arets, Esteve Bonell, David Chipperfield, Kristin Feireiss, Luis Fernández-Galiano, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Dominique Perrault, Dietmar Steiner, and Elia Zenghelis chose the two cubes of translucent glass posed at the mouth of the Urumea River against three other finalists: Jean Nouvel’s Palace of Justice in Nantes, Henning Larsen’s Unibank headquarters in Copenhagen, and Juan Navarro Baldeweg’s Altamira Museum at Santillana del Mar. A novelty this year was the exclusion of works carried out in Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, and even of buildings erected by Swiss architects elsewhere on the continent. But for the first time, too, the Mies Foundation granted a prize for emerging architecture, which went to a wooden warehouse in Böblingen designed by the young German architect Florian Nagel.