To determine the finalists, the five jury members – Francisco Liernur, Sarah Whiting, Wiel Arets, Dominique Perrault, and Kenneth Frampton - spent the last twelve days visiting projects, speaking with the architects, users and owners of the spaces, and entering into intense debate among each other.
As jury member Dominique Perrault noted, “There’s a lot of means by which to evaluate projects – models, drawings, images – but we took all opportunities to test the quality of the architecture. In the end, only by visiting can you sense the ‘touch of god’ – the presence of the building itself in the context.”
The resulting finalists show tremendous variety – in terms of scale, place, typology, program, materials, etc. – making the task of choosing a winner all the more challenging. See all seven finalists, as well as a video of Kenneth Frampton discussing the selection process, after the break.
- Seattle Central Library / OMA
- Nelson Atkins Museum of Art / Stevel Holl Architects
- 1111 Lincoln Road / Herzog & de Meuron
- Fundação Iberê Camargo / Alvaro Siza
- Altamira Residential Building / Rafael Iglesia
- Mestizo Restaurant / Smiljan Radic
- Capilla del Retiro / Cristian Undurraga
As Kenneth Frampton, jury chair, noted, the MCHAP Awards are the first time that an architectural prize has been approached, not in a trans-atlantic, horizontal manner, but rather vertically across the Americas. He and the jury hope that the Prize will not only kickstart a discourse about the high quality of architecture around the world, but will also inspire new generations to evaluate architecture in a holistic, contextual manner that sets aside preconceived biases.
The jury members will reconvene and announce a winner this October.
In two years time, the Prize will be given again to projects across the Americas. Although the inaugural Prize covered the first 13 years of 21st century American architecture, the second will cover a much more limited period of time.