Though Dublin-based Grafton Architects may not be celebrating Thanksgiving, they’re likely feeling thankful today: This evening, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) named the firm’s impressive new building for the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia (UTEC) in Lima, Peru, the winner of its inaugural International Prize.
The jury, led by Richard Rogers, hailed the building as a “modern day Machu Picchu.”
UTEC, a new engineering institution located in Lima’s Barranco neighborhood, is a monumental Brutalist-inspired concrete form that hovers above a ravine and a freeway. Inspired by pre-Columbian farming techniques, the “vertical campus” features a series of cascading terraces. Grafton completed the project in April 2015 with the help of local firm Shell Arquitectos.
“We found that the educational aspirations of the client together with the unique climatic conditions of Lima gave us the opportunity to 'invent' a new vertical campus for their new University of Engineering,” said Grafton co-founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.
This is the first edition of the RIBA International Prize, an honor intended to set a “new global standard for architectural achievement.”
“UTEC stood out from all other entries from around the world, clearly demonstrating its understanding, engagement with and concern for those who are lucky enough to live near, visit, teach, and learn in it,” said RIBA president Jane Duncan.
The shortlisted buildings for the prize were:
- The Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
- Stormen Concert Hall by DRDH Architects
- Arcquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre by Menos é Mais Aquitectos Associados
- Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects
- The Ring of Remembrance, International WWI Memorial of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette by Agence d’Architecture Philippe Prost
You can read our story on the UTEC building here.