The Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture (IIT) has announced six finalists for its Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), a biennial awards program that recognizes the best architectural projects in the Americas. This year’s shortlist includes buildings in the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. While the projects vary greatly in scale and context, they all share a common theme, said jury chair Ricky Burdett.

“The architectural language of some of these very contemporary projects we admired are deeply rooted in the spatial concerns of the mid- or even early twentieth century,” Burdett said in a statement. “Many buildings celebrated the ‘sectional,’ three-dimensional experience over the planar and the two-dimensional.”

The six selected projects, which were completed between January 2016 and December 2017, are: Freelon Adjaye Bond and SmithGroupJJR’s Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; Edwin Chan’s True North housing development in Detroit; PRODUCTORA and Isaac Broid’s Teopanzolco Cultural Center in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Barclay & Crousse Architecture’s Edificio E, a new building at the University of Piura in Peru; Andrade Morettin Arquitetos Associados’ IMS Paulista, a cultural building in São Paulo; and Paulo Mendes da Rocha and MMBB Arquitetos’ SESC 24 de Maio, another institution in São Paulo that offers leisure, sports, and medical facilities.

More than 175 projects were nominated in January; a jury selection whittled the list down to 31 candidates in May. The six finalists were chosen based on their potential for lasting influence in both architecture and culture, said MCHAP director Dirk Denison.

“MCHAP projects push forward the development of architecture as a practice, for reshaping how we see and organize the built environment around us,” Denison said in a statement. “They participate in the larger cultural exchange that is an essential characteristic of the Americas today.”

SANAA won the 2016 prize for Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. This year’s winner will be announced on October 10 and will be recognized with the MCHAP Chair at IIT’s College of Architecture, in addition to $50,000 for research and a publication.