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MIES CROWN HALL AMERICAS PRIZE LAUNCHES FIFTH PRIZE CYCLE, ANNOUNCES JURY

Events to include exhibition of nominated projects, Summit on Emerging Practice, and Americas Prize benefit



CHICAGO, IL (March 8, 2024) – The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) at the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) inaugurates its fifth cycle with the announcement of the prize jury, an expanding calendar of events, and the next phase of its media program. Two awards—the Americas Prize and the Prize for Emerging Practice, or MCHAP.emerge—will recognize excellence in works of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and infrastructure completed in North, Central, and South America in 2022 and 2023.

 

“This year marks a full decade since the first MCHAP award, and it’s been a great honor to recognize more than a thousand nominated works that reveal the power of architecture to improve the quality of lives,” said MCHAP Director Dirk Denison. “We have learned so much from the stories of these projects and the people who made them happen. We’re proud to continue to share the lessons of impactful works from the last two years,” he added.

 

A network of anonymous expert nominators based throughout the Americas have submitted more than two hundred works for consideration. From March 20th to 30th, MCHAP will host a public exhibition of all nominated projects in IIT’s iconic S. R. Crown Hall. All nominees will be available for viewing on the MCHAP website, www.mchap.co/, beginning March 20th.

 

“It is of great importance to the College of Architecture to be the home of MCHAP, which recognizes outstanding achievements in design across the Americas,” noted IIT Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair Reed Kroloff. “The highlighted projects address today’s most urgent issues—from housing to sustainability to creating equitable cities—and offer remarkable solutions.”

 

The exhibition opening on March 20th coincides with the first meeting of the MCHAP jury, which includes Giovanna Borasi, director and chief curator, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Maurice Cox, past planning director, City of Chicago; Gregg Pasquarelli, founding principal, SHoP Architects, New York; Mauricio Rocha, founder, Taller | Mauricio Rocha, Mexico City, and author of the 2023 Americas Prize winner, the renovation of the Museo Anahuacalli; and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, founding partner, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Concepción, Chile, and author of Poli House, the 2014 winner of the Prize for Emerging Practice. Cox will act as jury chair. (A short bio for each juror appears below.)

 

“We’ve charged this incredible group to identify, through these nominated works, the qualities that are most meaningful and needed for our time,” Denison explained. “We welcome each juror’s unique perspectives, which have made them international leaders in design, research, civic engagement, and the poetry of place.”

 

From the full pool of nominees, the jury will select a longlist of Outstanding works for both awards, to be announced in April.

 

In September, MCHAP will convene the first Summit on Emerging Practice, a multi-day event in Crown Hall that widens conversations around the MCHAP.emerge award to reflect on changes in how architects work today and the implications of these shifts for the academy. Co-organized with IIT Senior Lecturer Leslie Johnson, the summit will open dialogue between IIT faculty and students, this cycle’s jury and finalists, distinguished invited participants, and the international MCHAP network. The conference culminates in an evening event Friday, September 27, that honors the cycle’s MCHAP.emerge finalists and names the winning project.

 

In the spring of 2025, attention turns to the Americas Prize, which MCHAP will award at a benefit in Crown Hall the evening of Friday, March 21. As in previous cycles, the ceremony will cap a day of public discussions that engage Americas Prize finalist architects and clients, jurors, and IIT students and faculty.

 

These conversations extend the jurors’ firsthand experiences of the finalist works during the jury trip, a distinguishing component of MCHAP that is now reflected in the prize’s media program. As part of the fourth award cycle, MCHAP commissioned the photographer and filmmaker Pablo Gerson to document the selection process, including the jury’s visits to finalists in February 2023. This commission resulted in a series of short films highlighting each work and its architects, clients, and context, which premiered at the MCHAP benefit in March of last year. These films are now available for public viewing on the MCHAP YouTube channel.

 

 

MCHAP 4 Americas Prize finalist videos, Portuguese/English: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7cE5XQTzXXMsNWDoImvfq6pjtyttlCz2&si=9G8GuWnMGdZva6Pi

 

Gerson will also create videos to document cycle 5 and showcase the 2025 Americas Prize finalists. “Just as our publications incite international conversations around the research of MCHAP winners, our robust and expanding media program aims to share what we encounter in these works in the most direct way possible. Pablo’s videos brought the immersion that is so key to the jury’s decision-making back to Chicago and Crown Hall, and we invite everyone to accompany us and experience these works through our video platform, along with our archive of nominated works that show the richness and ingenuity of architecture in the Americas in the twenty-first century,” Denison added.

 

Multiplying these efforts, in spring 2023, students and faculty working collaboratively in a College of Architecture seminar produced MCHAP.emerge videos featuring interviews with authors of the four 2023 finalists. These films are now available to view on YouTube, as well.

 

 

For further information, please visit www.mchap.com, or contact Andrew Jiang at andrewfanjiang@gmail.com / 608.515.0169.

 

JURY BIOS

 

Maurice Cox

Former Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA

 

Maurice Cox is an American architect and urban planner. He served as Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia from 2002 to 2004 and faculty at the University of Virginia. Cox is a former design director at the National Endowment for the Arts and a two-term City Councilor. In August 2012, Cox left Charlottesville for New Orleans, where he accepted the position of associate dean of community engagement at the Tulane University School of Architecture. In February 2015, he was named as director of planning and development for the city of Detroit. In August 2019 he was named Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago, where he served until 2023. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Cox holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union in New York City and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy.

 

 

Sofia von Ellrichshausen

Founding Partner, Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Yungay, Chile

 

Sofia von Ellrichshausen (Bariloche, 1976) is an Argentinian architect, artist, and educator. In 2002, together with Mauricio Pezo, she founded the art and architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen, based in a farm at the foot of the Andes Mountains. She holds a degree in architecture from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, where she was distinguished with the FADU- UBA Honors Diploma. She is the Louis Kahn Visiting Professor at Yale University and has also taught, among other institutions, at the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, Harvard University, and Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

Mauricio Rocha

Founder, Taller | Mauricio Rocha

Mexico City, Mexico

 

Mauricio Rocha Iturbide (Mexico City, 1965) founded Taller Mauricio Rocha in 1991. Taller works aim to develop a contemporary architecture sensitive to the context and the environment, with dignity and quality of the spaces as a constant. The firm produces public and private projects of multiple scales, as well as museography, ephemeral architecture, and art interventions. Rocha has received major awards individually and with the firm, including, most recently, the 2023 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize.

 

Giovanna Borasi

Director and Chief Curator, Canadian Centre for Architecture

Montréal, Québec, Canada

 

Giovanna Borasi has been Director and Chief Curator of the Canadian Centre for Architecture

since 2020. She studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano (1996), and has held

editorial positions at Lotus International, Lotus Navigator, and Abitare. Joining the CCA in

2005 as Associate Director, Programs, before becoming Curator, Contemporary

Architecture in 2011 and Chief Curator in 2014, Borasi has led major exhibitions,

documentary films, and publications. Her work explores processes that push the boundaries

of the practice and definition of architecture.

 

Gregg Pasquarelli

Founding Principal, SHoP Architects

New York, NY, USA

 

Gregg Pasquarelli, FAIA is a founding principal of SHoP Architects. He has been at the center of this collaborative and innovative practice by creating new models for design, master planning, construction technology, and real estate development.  Gregg has led many of the firm’s most complex, dynamic, and globally recognized award winning projects, Gregg has been a professor of architecture for more than 25 years at Columbia, Yale, and UVA.  He received his M. Arch from Columbia’s GSAPP and is a lifetime honoree Academician in the National Academy of Design.The diverse and trendsetting work of SHoP has been widely celebrated with a variety of honors, among them the Smithsonian’s National Design Award for Architecture, the Chicago Atheneum’s Firm of the Year Award, and their designs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

 

ABOUT MCHAP

 

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.

 

Visit http://www.mchap.co/about for more information.

 

ABOUT ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Based in the global metropolis of Chicago, Illinois Tech was born to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. It is the only tech-focused university in the city, and it stands at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. Illinois Tech students are guaranteed hands-on experiences, personalized mentorship, and job readiness through the university’s one-of-a-kind Elevate program. Its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Its faculty and alumni built the Chicago skyline. And every day in the living lab of the city, Illinois Tech fuels breakthroughs that change lives.

 

Illinois Tech is ranked in the top 25 on the Wall Street Journal’s 2024 list of the 400 best colleges in America and is ranked #1 Illinois universities focused on career outcomes.

Visit iit.edu for information on all available academic programs.

 

COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE

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 arch.iit.edu.

 

Visit www.mchap.co/ for more information.

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