Apr 20th 2018


The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture Dean Michelangelo Sabatino and Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize ( MCHAP) Dirk Denison announced the winner of MCHAP for Emerging Architecture, Common Unity by Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura + Alin V. Wallach of Mexico City, Mexico. 

Common Unity is an intervention in the San Pablo Xalpa housing unit in Mexico City, which has approximately 7,000 inhabitants. Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura’s mission was to build trust through design, working around the barriers created by the inhabitants in order to make the space permeable, democratic and meaningful.

Common Unity photo by Sandra Pereznieto

“At best, the emerging generation of architects working across the Americas today is establishing a distinct voice, that recognizes modesty, economy of means and social purpose. The MCHAP Jury was unanimous in recognizing the spatial, social and technical merits of Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura’s Common Unity project complex: a retrofitting operation that requires design ingenuity and programmatic clarity. By exploring notions of porosity, flexibility and efficiency, these apparently simple interventions bring life to a contested area in the heart of a housing project. It is an architectural language of elegance and authority, that punches well beyond its weight,” said Jury Chair, Ricky Burdett.

The Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture is awarded as part of the biennial Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize and recognizes an outstanding built work in the Americas by an emerging practice.Selected by an esteemed jury, the MCHAP.emerge winner receives a research professorship leading a studio in the College of Architecture and $25,000 towards research and a publication.

The winner was announced on April 12 at the symposium and award ceremony at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Crown Hall that also featured presentations by the four finalists for this year’s MCHAP.emerge:

Common Unity Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura

Children Village Aleph Zero + Rosenbaum

Embodied Computation Lab The Living / David Benjamin

María Montessori School EPArquitectos + Estudio Macías Peredo

The MCHAP 2018 Jury includes Chair Ricky Burdett CBE; Jose Castillo; Ron Henderson; Rodrigo Pérez de Arce; and Claire Weisz. 

(left to right) Consul General of Mexico Carlos Jimenez Macias, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, MCHAP.emerge winner Rozana Montiel and her daughter, MCHAP Director Dirk Denison, and Dean of the IIT College of Architecture Michelangelo Sabatino