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  • Writer's pictureMCHAP


CHICAGO, IL (February 11, 2023) – At an event in Medellín, Colombia, Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) Director Dirk Denison and 2023 MCHAP Jury Chair Sandra Barclay announced the six finalists for the 2023 Americas Prize:

A sensitive dialogue with an existing museum in an ecological reserve, forging a new public space that extends Diego Rivera’s vision for the site

A framework for everyday exchanges that leverages prefabricated and local materials to prioritize comfort, safety, and a fluid connection with landscape

An addition to a historic arts campus that meets strict conservation requirements while offering intimate, direct encounters with works on paper

A succession of terraces that thoughtfully engage the activities of animals, qualities of soil, and existing materials to shape a living urban landscape

A studio-like exhibition space that reestablishes a relationship between city residents and a dynamic, independent arts center

An apartment building that explores the urban possibilities of rammed-earth construction, integrating vegetation and ventilation without imposing on the surrounding neighborhood

The 2023 Americas Prize recognizes the best built work in the Americas completed between December 2018 and June 2021. The MCHAP 2023 Jury includes Sandra Barclay (chair), Mónica Bertolino, Dirk Denison (ex officio), Alejandro Echeverri, Julie Eizenberg, and Philip Kafka.

MCHAP launched the fourth cycle at an event in Venice, Italy, in August 2021. Beginning that November, a network of expert nominators from throughout North and South America anonymously submitted nearly 300 projects for the jury’s consideration. MCHAP announced a jury selection of 39 outstanding projects in June 2022.

The selection and announcement of the six finalists concludes the jury’s tour of the project sites. The visits included interviews with the architects, their teams, and the project clients.

“In the 21,000 kilometers we have traveled, we have witnessed the potential of architecture to transform places and offer new dynamics with society,” Barclay said. “This group of projects reflects and represents the concerns and investigations that are critical to architectural production at this time.”

“The finalist works carry values that seem to us today to be extremely pertinent,” she added, including “the careful use of resources at the appropriate scale”; “taking advantage of available and intangible elements such as space, natural light, and natural ventilation…and an innovative use of local materials”; a “connection with the natural and human-made imprint that can anchor us to place and to culture”; “the capacity to be a catalyst…activating a place”; “a relation with environment that reinforces the project’s identity”; and a “social responsibility present through the creation of public space for the use of communities, whether they are private or public projects.”

Denison also highlighted the qualities that the finalists share. “We knew going into this trip that we would be visiting projects that demonstrate the relevance of a simple idea, but one that is so crucial right now: doing more with less,” he said. “The finalist projects all exhibit a radical generosity, giving their communities so much with the most targeted of interventions.”

Denison also underlined the significance of concluding the trip in Medellín. “This city is perhaps one of the most potent examples of how design can change human life for the better—and an initiative that one of our jurors, Alejandro, was so crucial in realizing. Medellín truly shows us the way: the transformations that are possible when we layer thoughtful and impactful design onto a vital urban environment,” Denison said. This ability to improve the quality of life of inhabitants and communities is what the prize seeks out in contemporary works of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure. “MCHAP works are having immediate effect in addressing the complexities and challenges of today. They show us what architecture does,” he added.

The authors of the winning project, to be announced at a symposium on March 24, 2023, at IIT, will be recognized with the MCHAP Award, the MCHAP Chair in IIT’s College of Architecture, and $50,000 to fund research and a publication.


The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) is a biennial prize that acknowledges the best built works of architecture in the Americas. MCHAP was conceived by Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture in 2013.


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The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology builds on a legacy of disciplined experimentation in materials and technologies to educate and inspire the next generation of architects and landscape architects. From its landmark campus and home at S. R. Crown Hall, IIT Architecture champions an interdisciplinary approach to education and research that is simultaneously local and global in its impact. IIT Architecture students are educated to address complex, contemporary challenges of designing and constructing across all scales. Both faculty and students enjoy a longstanding relationship with professional practice in Chicago, a city with a vibrant history of innovation in architecture, design, landscape architecture, and urbanism. Visit


MCHAP is supported by Kohler Co., the Alphawood Foundation, the Mies van der Rohe Society at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and AIA Chicago.

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