IIT College of Architecture Creates New Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

Crown Hall

Crown Hall

Watch out Pritzker family because the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology is adding another architecture prize to the Chicago mix. The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture will be awarded every two years with the intent of, “recognizing the most distinguished built constructs of the North and South American continents,” the College of Architecture Dean Wiel Arets told Arch Daily.

Five finalists with built works of architecture completed between January 2000 and December of last year will be nominated for the MCHAP inaugural prize, which will be awarded later this year. The MCHAP for Emerging Architecture will go to buildings built in the Americas by an emerging practice completed within the preceding two years.

The jury will consist of Arets; Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, Kenneth Frampton; architect and professor at Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Jorge Francisco; French architect Dominique Perrault; and the dean of Houston’s Rice School of Architecture, Sarah Whiting.

“This new prize will not be bestowed to an individual or organization based solely off inventive form, however clever its design, or based solely off a submitted image, no matter how captivating,” says Arets. “The prize’s jury will instead be holistic in their approach to selecting exceptional works. Architecture, as a discipline, will continue its pursuit of technology, so that it can further advance. And architecture is for people; it is strengthened by their presence.”

The jury will take first hand look at the finalists’ work in the early spring and summer before inviting the entrants to make a presentation at IIT’s Crown Hall in the Fall. After engaging in a dialogue about the finalist’ work and ideas, the jury will decide on the winner.

Those who win will receive $50,000 as well as the privilege of being appointed to the MCHAP Chair at IIT the following year. The opportunity will give the prize winner a chance to conduct innovative research regarding the theme of “rethinking metropolis” as well as host a series of public lectures. The MCHAP for Emerging Architecture winner will be awarded $25,000 and a MCHAP Research Professorship at IIT during the following year.

MCHAP Director Dirk Dension explained to Arch Daily: “The awarding of the ‘Americas Prize’ is not the end, but the beginning of a dialogue that will ensue amongst designers, scholars, and urban thinkers, and it is in this light that our efforts will be focused on building a bridge between academia, professional practice and our world of neighborhoods.”

Author: Mark Miles

Mark Miles works for Dreamtown, one of Chicago's largest real estate search firms. Editor's note: While Mark works for Dreamtown, his posts are NOT sponsored content. No money or any other compensation is exchanged for his articles.

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