Feb 13th 2023

Six Finalists Announced for 2023 MCHAP Prize

The six finalists for the 2023 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) were announced at an event in Medellín, Colombia, on Saturday, February 11, 2023. The biennial prize recognizes the best built work in the Americas that was completed from late 2018 to mid-2021.

This prize will be the fourth awarded since MCHAP was created by IIT College of Architecture in 2012. This cycle began at an event in Venice, Italy, in August 2021 with nearly 300 projects submitted. A jury of six renowned architects, including MCHAP Director and Professor of Architecture Dirk Denison, narrowed the 300 entries to the six finalists. Read each project’s full application on the MCHAP site.

The winning project will be announced on March 24, 2023, at Mies Campus in Chicago.

The Menil Drawing Institute—Houston, 2018

Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, Johnston Marklee and Associates

The Menil Drawing Institute is the first museum building in the United States that is dedicated to the exhibition, study, and conservation of works on paper. The building connects to the historic architecture of the Menil Campus, which is dedicated to art conservation and education. The structure “brings together flexible, diverse day-lit spaces that accommodate a range of functions while adhering to strict conservation standards and environmental requirements.”

Park in the Prado Neighborhood—Medellín, Colombia, 2021

Edgar I. Mazo

Park in the Prado is a succession of terraces where plants, animals, and humans are connected through reused materials, vernacular and traditional building techniques, and creating soil permeability. The park is “an interpretation of sustainable urban construction policies” such as reusing bricks and materials from local buildings. Landscaping is key to the park’s future, as a changing treeline, climbing plants, and others ensure the park “isn’t a moment captured in time.”

Anahuacalli Museum, Remodeling and Expansion—Mexico City, 2021

Mauricio Rocha Iturbide

The Anahuacalli Museum, a complex of buildings in a nature reserve in Mexico City, began as a studio for muralist Diego Rivera 70 years ago, and was expanded in the 1960s. After decades of use, Mauricio Rocha Iturbide was hired to renovate and design new buildings to create “an open dialogue with the pre-existing architecture with a contemporary interpretation” as well as navigating the challenges of building in an ecological reserve. The new structures include new public spaces and areas that showcase the last period of Diego Rivera and a collection of his pre-Hispanic pieces.

Guadalupe Market—Tapachula, Mexico, 2021

Colectivo C733

Guadalupe Market was designed as a community hub, a place of “exchange and meeting, a living testimony to culture.” The market has served 10 communities since opening in 1990, but the past 30 years have left the space with leaky roofs, exposed pipes, and unsafe conditions. About 200 tenants are housed in the 82,000-square-foot public space. The updated infrastructure ensures a safe space to do business.

Valois Housing Building—Asunción, Paraguay, 2021

José Eduardo Cubilla López

The Valois Housing Building was designed to fit a small plot in a quickly-growing, low-scale residential area of Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción. The rammed-earth structure sits back from the property line, allowing public space on the ground while giving residents a terrace that “allows a glimpse of the neighborhood, the sky, the Chaco landscape, and the Paraguay River.” The project is also meant to showcase the viability of rammed-earth structures in an urban environment.

The Polygon Gallery—North Vancouver, Canada, 2018

John Patkau, Patkau Architects

The Polygon Gallery is the reimagining of the Presentation House Gallery, an independent photography and media institution serving North Vancouver for more than 40 years. The museum emphasizes contemporary Canadian photography and media art within a context of historical and international art. At the request of the gallery director, the exhibition space is now free of obstacles that allow for a flexible space to accommodate “education, outreach, and private functions.”

For more information on the project and this year’s prize, visit the MCHAP website