The jury noted the key role of the building for the Norwegian capital, calling it "primarily an urban space, a gift to the city", as the theater was the first step in the program of the reconstruction of Oslo harbor - turning it into a recreational area with a variety of cultural institutions. The fact that even the lined roof of the building is open to the townspeople makes it a real public building - a building for everyone, and not just a symbol of the wealth and good taste of the authorities.
In parallel with the main prize, there was traditionally an award for the work of emerging architects. This time its laureate was the Croatian bureau STUDIO UP with its complex "Gymnasium 46º09'N / 16º50E" in Koprivnica. The building includes a sports hall and a school, the premises of which are located along the spacious inner “street”, visually intersecting and overlapping each other.
The awards ceremony will take place on May 28, 2009 in Barcelona, in the German pavilion for the 1929 World Exhibition of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The EU architectural award "Mies van der Rohe Prize" is awarded every two years to the best completed buildings in the EU over the past period. Its amount is 60,000 euros.