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Snøhetta scoops prestigious Mies prize

Snøhetta has won this year’s Mies van der Rohe Award for the best building in Europe with its Norwegian National Opera & Ballet house in Oslo

The Norwegian practice picked up the €60,000 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture on Tuesday (28 April) beating the likes of Grafton Archtects’ University Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy and Atelier Marc Barani’s Multimodal Centre in Nice.

This victorious fjord-side building is the largest cultural centre to have beeb built in Norway in the last 700 years and boasts a sloping stone roof - made up of 36,000 fitted pieces – which the public can walk over.

Inside, the opera house is lined with ‘crafted’ woodwork using the traditions of Norwegian boat builders and features a number of art commissions including a cloakroom design together with their 2007 Serpentine Pavilion collaborator Olafur Eliasson.

Jury chair, Francis Rambert, said:’The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo is more than just a building.

‘It is first an urban space, a gift to the city. The building can be considered a catalyst of all the energies of the city and is emblematic of the regeneration of its urban tissue.’

Previous winners of the Mies prize included Zaha Hadid in 2003, although no British architects or buildings were shortlsited this year.

The Emerging Architect Special Mention award went to STUDIO UP (Lea Pelivan and Toma Plejic) for its Gymnasium 46° 09’ N / 16° 50’ E, Koprivnica, in Croatia.

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