Large-Scale Transformation, a New Sustainability Challenge. Kleiburg in Amsterdam, Grand Parc in Bordeaux.

Large-Scale Transformation, a New Sustainability Challenge. Kleiburg in Amsterdam, Grand Parc in Bordeaux.
European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award on Collective Housing

Date: 16-10-2020 < 25-1-2021
Place: Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine

Curated by: Ivan Blasi and Anna Sala Giralt (Fundació Mies van der Rohe) with the expertise of Josep Maria Montaner and Zaida Muxí
Francis Rambert with Christine Carboni and Martine Colombet (Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine)

 

The Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine and Fundació Mies van der Rohe present in the frame of the laboratoire du logement Large-Scale Transformation, a New Sustainability Challenge, an exhibition which is an itinerary guided by two winning works of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award that unfolds the complexity that surrounds this sort of large-scale housing blocks.

Three years ago, the renovation of one of the biggest apartment buildings in the Netherlands called Kleiburg was awarded with the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017. The Prize had never been won by a collective housing project until then. Just one year ago, a different group of jury members decided to award the 2019 Prize to the transformation of three social housing blocks in Bordeaux. In both cases, the existing buildings belonged to the wave of massive construction that happened in the 1960s in European cities. They are two successful survivors that escaped the wrecking ball. In the exhibition, these two main characters illustrate how strategic and sensible transformations are the way to avoid demolition.

 

“Emblematic examples of large-scale collective housing complexes were generally studied when they were projected, built and inaugurated, but very little was studied and written about how each of these buildings evolved and adapted, in order to know what its legacy really was. Homes are for living in, and their maintenance and capacity for adaptation is essential. Therefore, the key to progress lies in how and what we can learn from the experience. Modern collective housing is living heritage, which is why it is important to know its transformations and appropriations; to understand what the construction qualities and remodelling facilities have been.”
Josep Maria Montaner and Zaida Muxí

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is granted every two years to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe and while doing so, it creates an archive of Europe’s transformation. Organised by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe with the support of the European Commission – Creative Europe, and the participation of a widespread network, it offers both individuals and public institutions an opportunity to reach a clearer understanding of the cultural role of architecture in the construction of our cities.