March 13, 2014

NEW YORK, NY, March 13, 2014 — The AIANY | Center for Architecture is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012], opening on March 27, 2014. The exhibition will be on view through June 21, 2014.

Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012] collects 35 winning works from the first seven editions of the European Prize for Public Space, organized by the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) and six other European institutions. The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial competition that recognizes and encourages the creation, recovery, and improvement of public spaces in cities. Promoting ideas of equality, plurality, and progress, the competition celebrates the democratic conception of the city as seen through the lens of architecture and urban design.

The chosen examples are grouped under seven headings: periphery, complexity, voids, water, mobility, memory and democracy. These themes serve as the foundation for lessons that can be learned from the winning projects. According to Judit Carrera, Director of the European Prize for Urban Public Space at the CCCB, the competition “constitutes an observatory of the democratic quality of our cities, gathering, through real, specific experiences, lessons on how to make the best of these realities.”

The idea that the condition of public space is a clear indicator of civic and collective urban health is central to the European Prize for Public Space. The projects featured in the exhibition reflect the social and political dimensions of the city, which are reflected in the Greek term polis. Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012] is an initiative of AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown’s Presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision.” The 2014 theme elevates public awareness around architecture and expands the design profession’s vision within the civic realm.

“The places, large and small, hard and soft, that emerged from the competitions that premiated them is an exciting demonstration of the range, role, and importance played by civic spaces in their individual contexts,” said AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA. “The projects exhibited, 35 in number, were culled from 1,300 submissions. What an exciting and glorious illustration of the importance of the civic realm: examples of how our Civic Spirit actualizes our Civic Vision.”

Spanning across Europe, the featured winners represent work by a wide range of architects from 17 different countries. Projects on view will include the Copenhagen Harbour Bath by PLOT (Bjarke Ingels Group and Julien De Smedt Architects), the Norwegian National Opera House by Snøhetta, the Nantes Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery by Wodiczko + Bonder, the landscape restoration of the landfill in Vall d’en Joan near Barcelona by Battle i Roig Arquitectes, and the Heroes of Ghetto Square in Kraków by Biuro Projektów Lewicki Łatak.

The exhibition will be complemented by a number of programs on European public space organized by the Center for Architecture:
– Thursday, March 27 – Exhibition Opening | Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012]
– Thursday, May 15 – “European City: Memory and Public Space” Film Screening
– Saturday, June 14 – “Open to the Public” Symposium

Press are invited to the opening of Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012] on March 27, 6pm, at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place. Please RSVP to

Curator: Judit Carrera, CCCB
Content: David Bravo, CCCB
Coordination: Masha Zrncic, CCCB
Graphic Design: David Lorente

Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012] is organized by the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona in Partnership with:
The Architecture Foundation
Architekturzentrum Wien
Cite de L’Architecture & du Patrimoine
Deutsches Architekturmuseum
Museum of Architecture and Design
Museum of Finnish Architecture

This exhibition was made by possible by the generous support of the following sponsors:

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Ennead Architects
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Peter Gisolfi Associates
Robert A. M. Stern Architects
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Studio Daniel Libeskind
Thomas Phifer and Partners

Capalino + Company
Desai Chia Architecture
Handel Architects
Ibex Construction
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
New York Building Congress
Stephen B. Jacobs Group
Syska Hennessy Group
Thornton Tomasetti
Zetlin & De Chiara

(List as of March 12, 2014)

About the AIA New York Chapter
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with over 5,000 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development.

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is a destination for all interested in the built environment. It is home to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation, vibrant nonprofit organizations that provide resources to both the public and building industry professionals. Through exhibitions, programs, and special events, the Center aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe. For more information, please visit