The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology announces the establishment of the MCHAP to recognize the most distinguished architectural works built on the North and South American continents.
The Prize will be awarded biennially within the masterpiece of S. R. Crown Hall, the organization’s Chicago-based laboratory and mission control center. The recipients of this new prize will be named by a jury of professional architects, curators, writers, editors, and other individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of design.
It will be twofold in nature: it will recognize preeminence in architecture while additionally awarding a member of the profession’s younger generation, by way of MCHAP.emerge, that harnesses the talent and ambition needed to devise and bring forth a truly outstanding first / early built work.
The Jury will be holistic in their approach to the honoring of exceptional works, as defined by the discourse that enabled their conception, construction, and fruition.
Architecture is for people; it is strengthened by their presence. Thus as the world’s cities continue their current expansion of population, it’s the research into the rethinking of these metropolises that will lead to our unraveling, and deeper understanding, of their intensified urban living conditions.
The two continents of the Americas bear a history rooted in discovery, invention, and innovation: a culture initially formed by adapting or drawing upon European, African, and Asian influences. The American continents have long ago come of age and this award seeks to build—through a global dissemination of its results—a global platform that will engage students, academics, and professionals alike. The MCHAP hopes to inspire practitioners to excellence and nurture an impassioned exchange of ideas. Only in this way can we advance our species and its many cultures; only in this way can we step into an unpredictable future with both confidence and optimism.
Dean, College of Architecture,
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
Because the practice of architecture today stands at a threshold—the brink between the premises of the 20th century and our rapidly changing living conditions—we feel compelled to gather our forces and embark upon a conversation. It is a dialogue inclining more toward practice than toward theory, one directed more toward the future than toward the past. And in recognizing the enormity of the issues confronting the global community today, the exchange is one that will challenge the depth of our
understanding as well as our internal fortitude. It is with this aspiration that we announce the founding of the MCHAP, hosted by the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Architectural prizes are generally awarded to those who achieve excellence within the field of design. We accept this definition, but it occurs to us that we must insist upon something more. We live in a revolutionary age, one in which the metropolis in its many forms now houses the majority of the world’s population. Our communication systems move at ever-greater speeds while local economies are merging inter-continentally into a vast commercial network. Our living habits are undergoing generational shifts and rapid cultural change. The world today has been radically reconstituted from that of even a quarter-of-a-century ago, and architects are being called upon to respond. Design premises need to be reexamined.
The MCHAP will laud those built works that recognize the altered circumstances of the human condition. It will honor those projects that consider how we might elevate the quality of our built environments by extending our interests beyond the proverbial four walls. It will endorse those who acknowledge the interdisciplinary nature of our new ventures. Above all, it will recognize those who have invested their work with the mystery and power of human imagination. The objective is to reward the daring contemplation of the intersection of the new metropolis and human ecology.
The awarding of the Prize is not the end, but only the beginning of the event. It is the ensuing dialogue among designers, scholars, and urban thinkers that is the objective of the commendation. In this light, we hope to build bridge between students, curricula, and professional practice.
We proffer such a hope with the recognition that many things are beyond our control. In viewing the complexity of the issues before us today, we have grown accustomed to feeling puny, and rightfully so.
Nevertheless, the scale of what we seek for answers is not the determining factor. We must recall that only a few generations ago someone imagined the Doric column, perfected the formula for porcelain, experimented with the rib arch, and envisioned an orbiting satellite—all of which have radically altered our living conditions and expectations. It is our task today to imagine the elements of the future metropolis. The purpose of the MCHAP is to ponder the settings of the architectural stage upon which the future of humanity will play out.
The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, MCHAP, is awarded to the best built work in the Americas in the preceding two years. The authors of the winning project will be recognized with the MCHAP Award, the MCHAP Chair at IIT CoA in the following academic year, and will receive funding of $50,000 USD to support teaching, a public lecture, and a publication on an agreed upon research topic. The Americas Prize will be announced at the Prize Ceremony in the fall of each award year at S.R. Crown Hall.
The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Practice, MCHAP.emerge, is awarded to an outstanding built work in the Americas by a practice within their first ten years. The authors of the winning project will be recognized with the MCHAP.emerge Award, the MCHAP Research Professorship at the IIT CoA during the following year, and will receive $25,000 USD to support teaching and a publication on an agreed upon research topic. The Americas Prize for Emerging Practice will be announced at the MCHAP.emerge Symposium and Award Ceremony in the spring of each award year at S.R. Crown Hall.
The MCHAP is a collective project with the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture at its core. From its inception, the Prize will aim to develop a network amongst the far reaches of the Americas, fostering a larger international dialogue. The organizational network will be expanded with each Prize cycle and includes a Board of Directors, and Advisory Committee, a Chicago Committee, and IIT Faculty Advisory Committee, Jurors, and independent Nominators.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is formed of appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of the MCHAP. They will also be entrusted with establishing board policies and objectives and ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources for the Prize.
International Advisory Committee
The International Advisory Committee will consist individuals possessing unique knowledge and skills complementing those of the Board of Directors. It will involve itself with determining criteria, defining the mission and purpose of the Prize, and articulating the goals for ensuring effective planning.
A special Chicago Committee will serve as an advocate for the Prize within the Chicago community. It will gather input from relevant constituencies, provide feedback and technical expertise, and assist in planning activities related to city programs.
IIT Faculty Advisory Committee
The Faculty Advisory Committee, drawn from the IIT faculty, will provide additional guidance and direction to the Prize program. They will also contribute to defining the mission and goals of the program.
The Jury will consist of five internationally esteemed professionals, with one individual appointed as President; plus the MCHAP Director as a non-voting member.
Nominators for the Prize are individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture within the territories of the Americas.
Nominations for the two awards will be put forward anonymously by the group of Nominators. For the MCHAP, each Nominator will be asked to propose a maximum of five projects that represent the best projects realized in the Americas over the previous two years. Additionally, the Nominators will be requested to submit one built work for consideration for the MCHAP.emerge. All nominations will be due in January of the awarding year.
Following the nomination process, the individuals or offices, referred to as Authors, will be requested to submit a dossier on their project. The submission requirements will be standardized for all entries.
The Jury will hold its first session in the early spring and review the nominations for both awards. Following the conclusion of the session, the Jury will announce the finalists for the MCHAP and MCHAP.emerge. The winner of the MCHAP.emerge will be announced and presented at the Award Benefit Ceremony held later in the
The second Jury session will be held in the summer, making visits to each of the selected MCHAP finalist projects, meeting with the respective Authors and Clients. The IIT College of Architecture will host the MCHAP Award Symposium and Ceremony in the fall. This award celebration will include presentations from the Authors and Clients of each of finalist Projects and a dialogue led by the Jury, culminating in the awarding of the MCHAP.
The MCHAP process will be presented through print, film, and digital media. The MCHAP Book will present not only the Jury deliberations of the selection process (MCHAP Winner and Finalists, MCHAP.emerge Winner and Finalists, as well as other Outstanding Projects) but will also serve as a forum for the questions raised by the project and its importance within a larger intellectual context. The publications emanating from the MCHAP Chair and MCHAP Research Professorship will also be seen as important research documents.
RULES & ELIGIBILITY
Nominations for works to be considered for both categories are not defined, nor limited, by scale or program.
The MCHAP and the MCHAP.emerge will be granted to architectural works built in the Americas. Authors of the built work do not need to be domestic to the Americas.
Nominations for the current award cycle are open to all works completed between December 2018 and July 2020.
The MCHAP Board of Directors will appoint the Jury, consisting of five external members and the MCHAP Director as a non-voting member.
Author submissions must clearly respect full authorship, and all Authors must sign the submission material. Awards will be made based on this attribution.
chair and MCHAP research Professorship at IIT.
Authors presenting work for consideration will commit to the expectations of the MCHAP