May 21, 2014

Inaugural MCHAP.emerge Winner Announced

Poli House by firm Pezo von Ellrichshausen; Photo credit - Cristobal Palma

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Dirk Denison, Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture (MCHAP.emerge), launched in February at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Canada, have announced that the inaugural award recognizing an outstanding built work by an emerging practice has been given to Poli House (Tome, Bio-Bio Region, Chile) by the firm Pezo von Ellrichshausen.

“The strength of the four finalists for the inaugural MCHAP.emerge were a testament to the diversity of architecture in the Americas,” said Arets. “But, in the end, the MCHAP.emerge Jury was drawn to the subtle complexity of Poli House and look forward to having Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen share their unique talents with our students and the City of Chicago when they join us for a research appointment at the College of Architecture during the 2014/2015 academic year.”

In addition to Poli House, the finalists for MCHAP.emerge included:

·      Kiltro House; Talca, Pencahue, Chile; Juan Pablo Corvalan / Susuka / Supersudaca

·      Maximilian’s Schell; Los Angeles, California, USA; Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues

·      OMS Stage; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; 5468796 Architecture

The recipient was announced at a benefit dinner, featuring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, held at IIT’s S. R. Crown Hall on Tuesday, May 20th. Earlier that afternoon, the finalists joined the students and faculty of IIT’s College of Architecture for a dialogue about their nominated works and how they contribute to the college’s continuing conversation -- Rethinking Metropolis.

 “Chicago is proud to be the home of MCHAP, and I congratulate the winner and all of the finalists for their vision,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It is exciting to see how architectural talent from North and South America envision redefining the boundaries of the modern metropolis, and it is these trailblazers whose new thinking and ideas will help ensure that our architectural future will be even greater than our past.”

The nominees for MCHAP.emerge were selected by a network of more than 70 professionally diverse, international ambassadors from throughout the Americas­. The four MCHAP.emerge finalists were chosen by the inaugural MCHAP Jury, which includes: Jury President Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at GSAPP, Columbia University, New York; Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture and Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair at IIT, Chicago; 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; and Sarah Whiting, Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor, Rice School of Architecture, Houston who represented the Jury at the award ceremony in Chicago.

“The selection of the inaugural MCHAP.emerge winner is only the beginning of a substantive and long-lasting dialogue between architects working in the Americas,” said Denison, “There are two awards supported by MCHAP’s global network and next month, we will announce the shortlist for the main prize – Mies Crown Hall America’s Prize (MCHAP) honoring innovative built works in the Americas by established practices.”

To select the winner of MCHAP from the list of 265 nominees, the jury will travel to the sites of the MCHAP shortlist, in order to experience these built works first hand. The MCHAP recipient will be announced in July in Chile. The authors of the MCHAP recipient and shortlist will be celebrated at a conference held at IIT’s S. R. Crown Hall on October 22, 2014 where the jury will engage in a direct dialogue about the works as part of a continuing exploration of how architecture can improve the lives of the people who inhabit these innovative built works.