THE MIES van der Rohe Award is the European Union’s prize for contemporary architecture, named for the prominent 20th-century German-American architect famous for his prominent modern designs. The award aims to recognise exceptional architecture, highlight new ideas and technologies and encourage beginning architects.

An overview of the projects that won the award over the last 25 years can now be seen in the Slovak capital.

One of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s most celebrated works is the German Pavilion, built for the Barcelona exposition in Spain, in 1929. The international award commemorating him was founded in 1988, and in 2001, it was patronised by the EU, and last year, a retrospective exhibition offering an overview of 25 years of this biannual award was put together, called Building Europe – 25 Years of Architecture: Mies van der Rohe Award 1988-2013.

Every other year the main prize goes to the most outstanding project completed in the last 24 months, and a special prize goes to a fledgling architect or studio.

This exhibition is currently on display in Bratislava’s Design Factory. A total of 220 projects nominated by professionals and selected by a jury can be seen in models and photographs, offering an exhaustive overview of the last two-and-a-half decades of EU architecture. The show started touring Europe in June 2013, and arrives in Bratislava after appearing in Milan, Italy; Kaunas, Lithuania; Reykjavik, Iceland; and the German cities of Essen and Frankfurt. It will continue in Vienna and Luxembourg.

The exhibits also feature the most recent award winners: the Harpa concert building in Reykjavik, Iceland, by Henning Larsen Architects, Studio Olafur Eliasson and Batteríid Architects, and the special mention for the most outstanding new architect received by María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid.

The exhibition opened with a lecture by Ivo Blasi, the Spanish coordinator of the award, and Mária Topoľčanská, the Slovak nominator of the MVDR award. A catalogue in Slovak consisting of photos of all the winning projects accompanies the exhibit.

Twenty Five years of Mies van de Rohe Award-winning EU architecture can be seen at the Design Factory on Bottova 2 in downtown Bratislava, daily between 10:00 and 19:00 on weekdays, and from 13:00 to 19:00 on weekends, until July 6. Admission fee is €2.50-€5.

By Zuzana Vilikovská