IIT’s College of Architecture Launches the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

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The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and its Dean Wiel Arets has announced the creation of the (MCHAP) and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture. With an objective to “reward the daring contemplation of the intersection of the new metropolis and human ecology,” these two biennial prizes will “recognize the most distinguished built constructs of the North and South American continents” while fostering research toward rethinking the metropolis.

MCHAP is an extension of the larger curricular and research initiatives of IIT, as established by Dean Wiel Arets, who states: “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. 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.”

Nominated by a network of “professionally diverse, international ambassadors from throughout the Americas,” five finalists with built works of architecture completed between January 2000 and December 2013 will be considered for the inaugural prize in early 2014. An esteemed jury will experience the finalists’ work first hand before inviting them to present their ideas at the IIT’s legendary S.R. Crown Hall this Fall. Here, the jury will engage in a direct dialogue about the works, before ultimately deciding the MCHAP winner after the presentations conclude. 

Upon selection, the MCHAP recipient will be awarded $50,000 USD, in addition to the MCHAP Chair at IIT during the subsequent academic year, where they will conduct innovative research concerning the theme of ‘rethinking metropolis,’ be granted the opportunity to host a series of public lectures, and engage in other forms of advanced academic research at IIT. The MCHAP for Emerging Architecture recipient will be granted $25,000 USD, in addition to the MCHAP Research Professorship at IIT during the subsequent academic year, where they will have the opportunity to lead a research studio related to the theme of ‘rethinking metropolis.’

The Inaugural MCHAP Jury, includes:

  • Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture and Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair at IIT, Chicago
  • Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at GSAPP, Columbia University, New York
  • Jorge Francisco Liernur, Architect, Professor at Torcuato Di Tella University, and Researcher of Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Investigation, Buenos Aires
  • Dominique Perrault, Founding Principal, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Paris
  • Sarah Whiting, Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor, Rice School of Architecture, Houston

MCHAP will be directed by Dirk Denison, who explains: “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.”


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The winner of the MCHAP and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture will be announced  at Crown Hall during the awarding year. Both recipients will be globally published, both digitally and in print. More information can be found here.

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "IIT’s College of Architecture Launches the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize" 10 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=475330>
  • Eric in Colorado

    Is that REALLY the best name they could come up with for such a recognition???