The College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology announces the establishment of the Mies Crown Americas Prize, 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 pre-eminence in architecture while additionally awarding a member of the profession’s younger generation, by way of the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture, 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.


Kenneth Frampton in Dialogue with MCHAP 2014 Finalists during MCHAP Symposium Roundtable | Left to Right: Michelangelo Sabatino, Sarah Whiting, Jorge Francisco Liernur, Kenneth Frampton, Alvaro Siza
Students viewing MCHAP nominated exhibition boards

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 Americas Prize, 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 Americas Prize 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 a 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 Americas Prize is to ponder the settings of the architectural stage upon which the future of humanity will play out.

MCHAP Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

The Americas Prize is awarded to the best architectural work in the Americas realized in the preceding two years. The authors of the winning project will be recognised with the MCHAP Award, the MCHAP Chair at Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture for the following academic year and funding of $50,000 towards research and a publication related to the theme of ‘rethinking the metropolis'. The MCHAP Chair will give a public lecture as part of the IIT College of Architecture’s lecture series, and engage in other agreed upon forms of academic research. The Americas Prize is announced at the Prize Ceremony in the fall of the award year.

The MCHAP Book will feature the Americas Prize Winner, in addition to the Finalists, the Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture Winner, and the Outstanding Projects recognized by the Jury. Through a series of diverse essays and articles, the book will highlight the architectural perspective that challenges the limits of the profession. The Americas Prize Winner will be profiled internationally in print, film and digital media. 

MCHAP 2018 Winner

Edificio E, Universidad de Puira

Barclay & Crousse Architecture

Piura, Peru

MCHAP 2016 Winner

Grace Farms


New Canaan, CT, USA

MCHAP 2014 Winner

1111 Lincoln Road

Herzog & de Meuron

Miami Beach, FL, USA

Fundação Iberê Camargo

Álvaro Siza

Porto Alegre, Brazil


MCHAP for Emerging Architecture

The Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture is awarded to an outstanding built work in the Americas by an emerging practice and realized within the preceding two years. The authors of the winning project will be recognized with the MCHAP.emerge Award, the MCHAP Research Professorship in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology for the following academic year where they will lead a studio related to 'rethinking metropolis' and funding of $25,000 towards research and a publication related to the theme of 'rethinking metropolis'. The Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture is announced at the Benefit Ceremony in the spring of the award year.

In addition to being featured in the MCHAP Book, the Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture Winner will receive a monograph focusing on their award-winning work.

MCHAP.emerge 2018 Winner

Common Unity

Rozana Montiel | Estudio de Arquitectura

Mexico City, Mexico

MCHAP.emerge 2016 Winner

Pavilion on the Zocalo


Mexico City, Mexico

MCHAP.emerge 2014 Winner

Poli House

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Tome, Chile


MCHAP for best student work

The MCHAP.student is awarded to the most outstanding project by a graduating student that addresses the metropolis through an architectural proposal. 

We welcome students who express the interest in “Rethinking Metropolis” and whose work provide the platform for research, for the development of knowledge and skills, for taking part in design exercises, for debate, and for making. MCHAP interprets architecture in its broadest definition. 

All submitted student projects will be reviewed by the MCHAP jury and the winner will be invited to Chicago, expenses paid, to be presented with the award by the MCHAP jury alongside the MCHAP winner at the awards ceremony in IIT’s S. R. Crown Hall.  The MCHAP.student winner will be acknowledged with a Research Fellowship at the IIT College of Architecture and ten thousand dollar ($10,000) commitment towards a production of the outcomes of a Research Fellowship. 


Nominations for the two awards will be put forward anonymously by the group of Nominators. For the Americas Prize, 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 Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture. 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. At the conclusion of the session, the Jury will announce the five finalists for the Americas Prize, as well as the winner for the Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture; the latter of which will be presented at the Benefit Ceremony held later in the spring.  

The second Jury session will be held in the summer, with visits to each of the five finalist projects and meetings with the respective Authors and Clients. The IIT College of Architecture will host the Americas Prize Ceremony in the fall. This multi-day symposium will include presentations from the Authors of each of the five finalists and a final Jury debate, culminating in the awarding of the Americas Prize.   

The Americas Prize process will be presented through print, film, and digital media. The two publications emanating from this process will also be seen as important research documents. The MCHAP Book will present not only the Jury deliberations of the selection process (Americas Prize Winner and four additional Finalists, Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture Winner, and 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.

A monograph will be published on the work acknowledged in the Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture. Additional research developed as a result of the MCHAP Research Fellowship will be the subject of subsequent publications.

      JURY 2018

      • Ricky Burdett CBE
        President of the Jury, Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics, and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme
      • Jose Castillo
        Principal, Arquitectura 911sc, Mexico City
      • Ron Henderson

        Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Director of the Master of Landscape Architecitecture and Urbanism

      • Rodrigo Pérez de Arce

        Professor, Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Estudios Urbanos, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile

      • Claire Weisz
        Founding Principal, WXY, New York

    JURY 2016

    • Stan Allen
      President of the Jury, Registered architect in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. From 2002 to 2012 he served as Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University where he is currently the George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture, New York, New York
    • Wiel Arets
      Dean and Rowe Family Dean Endowed Chair, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Chicago, Illinois
    • Ila Berman

      O’Donovan Director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; Waterloo, Canada

    • Jean Pierre Crousse

      Principal of Barclay & Crousse Architecture, cofounded with Sandra Barclay in France in 1994; Associate Professor of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; Lima, Peru

    • Florencia Rodriguez
      Architect and critic as well as founder and editorial director of Piedra, Papel y Tijera publishers in Buenos Aires, Argentina
      • JURY 2014

        • Kenneth Frampton
          President of the Jury, Ware Professor of Architecture Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, New York, New York
        • Wiel Arets
          Dean and Rowe Family Dean Endowed Chair, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Chicago, Illinois
        • Jorge Francisco Liernur
          Professor, Torcuaro di Tella University School of Architecture and Urban Studies Researcher, Argentina's National Council for Scientific and Technical Investigation, Buenos Aires, Argentina
        • Dominique Perrault
          Founding Principal Dominique Perrault Architecture, Paris, France
        • Sarah Whiting
          Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor, Rice University School of Architecture, Houston, Texas


Álvaro Siza Vieira: A Pool in the Sea

This book documents a unique experience of a journey by Alvaro Siza Vieira, Vincent Mentzel and Kenneth Frampton to the early work of Siza in Porto. The book includes a conversation between Kenneth Frampton and Alvaro Siza and photos by Vincent Mentzel.

Naive Intention

This title is a resulting work of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) emerge, given to the firm Pezo von Ellrichshausen for their Poli House.
Introduced by an essay about the vague contradiction between intentionality and chance, necessity and accident, reason and futility, authorship and anonymity, the book presents a selection of images that inform Pezo von Ellrichshausen’s cross production between art, architecture and academia. Each page contains a single picture and a brief caption describing it. Beyond a comprehensive depiction of the individual works, the monograph underlines transversal notions of inventory, format, scale, regulation and value within the pictorial representation. In the fashion of a personal album, each drawing, painting, photograph, model or building, evokes the mental world behind the couple’s production. This volume could be read both as a collection of ideas, one after another, or as the same one that persists over time.

Treacherous Transparencies: Thoughts and Observations Triggered by a Visit to Farnsworth House

Treacherous Transparencies analyzes transparency as expressed in architecture and art in an attempt to understand the intentions and objectives that underlie its use by pertinent architects and artists.

The publication looks at a few important works by selected artists and architects who work with transparency as an artistic strategy, which they implement primarily by using glass and mirrors but other media as well. The architects and artists listed together in this context form an unlikely alliance: Bruno Taut, Ivan Leonidov, Marcel Duchamp, Mies van der Rohe, Dan Graham, and Gerhard Richter. But they do have something in common: their work marks salient way stations in the story of modernism up to the present day.

Published in the context of the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize ( MCHAP). Launch of the publication series by the inaugural MCHAP award winners Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for their project 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

Crown Hall Dean's Dialogues 2012-2017

Crown Hall Dean’s Dialogues: 2012-2017 collects incisive, intimate thoughts from leading contemporary architects in dialogue with students from the Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture.

This title collects the voices of 18 esteemed architects, designers, educators and theorists in dialogue with students from the Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture. Voices ranging from Phyllis Lambert to David Adjaye to Rafael Vinoly expound and express their thoughts freely, digging deeply into essential themes that drive their work, study and process. This title provides intimate insight directly from leading architectural and design practitioners, who in the process of being interviewed, further the academic discourse conducted at IIT College of Architecture.

MCHAP Book One: The Americas

The MCHAP Book One will feature the Americas Prize Winner, in addition to the Finalists, the Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture Winner, and the Outstanding Projects recognized by the Jury. Through a series of diverse essays and articles, the book will highlight the architectural perspective that challenges the limits of the profession. The Americas Prize Winner will be profiled internationally in print, film and digital media. 


Schedule for the nomination process 2018

November 2017: Decision on new nominating bodies

8 January  2018: Deadline for nominating projects for MCHAP and MCHAP.emerge

9 February 2018:  Deadline for the submission of nominations for MCHAP and MCHAP.emerge

1, 2, 3, March 2018: Jury 1 Session - Selection of MCHAP Finalists

April 2018: The list of nominated candidates for MCHAP and MCHAP.emerge is published

12 April 2018: Announcement of MCHAP.emerge winner

July 2018: Jury 2 Session - Announcement of MCHAP Finalists

10 October 2018:  Announcement of MCHAP 2018 winner