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European Union at EXPO Dubai 2020

Transformation Strategies: European Architecture as Caregiver

European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award

The Irish Pavilion in Dubai, the European Commission (through its Creative Europe programme) and Fundació Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona present the exhibition "Transformation Strategies: European Architecture as Caregiver", opening during the Urban & Rural Development Week of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

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Practical information

Ireland Pavilion


Grand Parc Bordeaux
Grand Parc Bordeaux

Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform and reuse!”  - Anne Lacaton, architect, EU Mies Award winner 2019 and Pritzker Prize winner 2021.

With more than 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, Europe has been rethinking the way habitats are designed and managed taking into account its people, history, geography and global political economy. Climate change, pollution, digitalization and demographic explosion are also, maybe more than ever, a global threat that endangers the planet, its limited natural resources and in consequence our wellbeing. Buildings and infrastructures are responsible for at least 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions and architecture must support the rethinking and replanning of Europe in such a way that it prioritises the environment through a cultural project in which design and sustainability are indissociable. The European Green Deal aims at transforming the European Union into the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 while decoupling economic growth from resource use and leaving no person and no place behind. To do so, its cultural component, the New European Bauhaus movement, is creating bridges between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture in order to combine sustainability with aesthetics, affordability and inclusion.

Since 1988, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award has brought together and analysed more than 4000 works of architecture, landscape and urban design which have improved the way we live. The latest two winners, “DeFlat Kleiburg” in Amsterdam and “Transformation of 530 dwellings – Grand Parc Bordeaux” have shown a special attention towards the importance of transforming what already exists and how we can live better together in diversity and with respect for each other's differences. These two projects are accompanied by several other works that explain how European architecture becomes a caregiver of the planet and its inhabitants in the context of Europe’s and Ireland’s long heritage of arts and culture.