Haapsalu Castle has been nominated for the international European Union Mies van der Rohe Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2022. The reconstruction project was done by KAOS Architects (Margit Argus, Margit Aule, Elo Liina Kaivo, Laura Ojala, landscape architecture Kristiina Hellström).
The award recognizes architectural excellence and encourages promising talent in the field of architecture. The Mies Prize positions itself as Europe’s most important national architectural prize, awarded by the European state as a political union.
The museum-visitor center is located in the small fortress of the Haapsalu Episcopal Castle and it covers the rooms of the old fortress on two floors. In addition, a new entrance building was built above the historic gate, which now houses a museum shop, cloakroom and utility rooms. A new system of stairs and bridges was also built on the surviving walls of the small fortress, leading to the viewing platforms. They are attached to the walls with steel girders and cantilever supports, the locations of which have been chosen so as to cause the least possible damage to the historic body.
KAOS Arhitektid has received the annual award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for Architecture 2019, the annual award of the National Heritage Board in the category “Well-restored monument 2019” and the annual award of the National Heritage Board in the category “Good Designer 2017” for the bishop’s castle.
Previously, KAOS Architects has also been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Prize for the Pilgrimage House project next to the Vastseliina Episcopal Castle. In 2018, KAOS Arhitektid won the annual award of the Estonian Association of Architects for the same project.
The German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 – 1969) is known as the father of minimalism, also known for its tall American buildings, such as the towers of Lake Shore Drive, the Seagram or the IBM Plaza.
Major Meis van der Rohe construction projects
- 1928-29: Barcelona Pavilion
- 1950: Farnsworthi maja, Plano, Illinois
- 1951: Lake Shore Drive’i korterid, Chicago
- 1956: Crown Hall, Chicago
- 1958: Seagram Building, New York (with Philip Johnson)
- 1959-74: Federal Center, Chicago
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