An array of 38 built projects—ranging from Ruta 4 Taller’s Amairis sewing factory in Colombia to REX’s luxe 2050 M Street office building in Washington, D.C.—have been shortlisted for the 2022 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize. The prize, which is affiliated with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, is bestowed biennially but has not been awarded since 2018 on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the 2022 list encompasses projects completed between the beginning of 2018 and the end of 2021.
The semi-finalist projects were selected by a six-member jury led by Peruvian architect Sandra Barclay, a founding partner at Barclay & Crousse and one of the designers of Edificio E at Universidad de Piura in Peru, the 2018 Crown Hall Prize winner. This year’s jurors “found and prioritized a large number of projects which meaningfully connect to the surrounding communities by employing regional means and methods to build,” wrote Barclay in a jury statement, adding that the projects “exhibit immense respect for their context, climate, and environment, celebrate cultural values in their highest form, and address significant problems with excellence.”
Unusual among American architecture awards, the Mies Crown Hall Prize recognizes work not just in the United States but throughout the 35 countries that together make up South and North America. The prize “reinforces a unique North-South axis that creates potential for urgently needed cross-cultural learning at a moment of global change and crisis,” said prize director and IIT professor Dirk Denison in a statement.
The prize is also unusual in its complex, intensive selection process. Roughly 400 projects were nominated anonymously and reviewed by the jury, which then selected the 38-project shortlist of “outstanding projects.” In the next phase, the jury will further winnow the list to six finalists, which the jurors will visit and examine in person. A final winner will be chosen and honored in the fall.
Amant, Brooklyn, New York, designed by SO – IL. Photo © Iwan Baan
Among the other 2022 shortlisted projects are SO – IL’s Amant art center in Brooklyn, Dellekamp/Schleich + AGENdA’s Señor de Tula Sanctuary in Jojutla, Mexico, MASS Design Group’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, and Studio Gang’s Beloit College Powerhouse in Wisconsin. A few firms have more than one project on the shortlist; Mexico City-based Colectivo C733 is the only firm with four—the Guadalupe Market and Tapachula Station in Tapachula, the House of Music in Nacajuca, and Matamoros Market in Matamoros.
All 38 projects will be exhibited in the award’s namesake building, the Mies van der Rohe-designed S.R. Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, between June 17 and June 27. Members of the public, including convention-goers visiting Chicago for this year’s AIA Conference, can view the exhibit for free in the building’s North Core during its weekday open hours.
In addition to the main prize, a separate prize for emerging practices, MCHAP.emerge, is also awarded. The shortlist for that award will likely be announced later this summer.
The full list of shortlisted projects can be viewed on the award program’s website.
Architectural Record is media partner for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize.
1: Praça das Artes, São Paulo, Brazil, designed by Brasil Arquitetura. Photo © Nelson Kon; 2: Tapachula Station, Tapachula, Mexico, designed by Colectivo C733. Photo © Rafael Gamo