Mies van der Rohe Award 2005


Dutch Embassy in Berlin 

After considering 242 projects from 30 countries presented by a formidable committee of experts, the jury presided by Zaha Hadid – whose terminal in Strasbourg won the previous edition of this biennial European award – announced the finalists to be Foster’s Swiss Re tower in London, Future Systems’ building for Selfridges in Birmingham, Martínez Lapeña & Torres’ esplanade with a pergola in Barcelona’s Forum, Souto de Moura’s football stadium in Braga, and Koolhaas’s Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin. The eventual winner was the chancellery in the German capital, a project which, seeking to display the open character of Dutch society, reinterprets the strict urban guidelines of the city on the Spree with an assertive glass cube that rises along the river in Berlin Mitte. Elevated on a concrete podium and accompanied by a residential piece that completes the city block without actually closing it, it hides within it a dizzying promenade architecturale that stretches up eight floors to give form to an internal circulation system while accommodating the different embassy spaces around it.

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