Arquitectura Viva
Friday, February 21, 2020

MCHAP 2018 goes to Barclay & Crousse’s university building in Piura

The new winner of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, given bienially by the College of Architecture of the Illilnois Institute of Technology (IIT) to acknowledge the best buildings raised in the Americas, has been announced. The jury of this year’s MCHAP – chaired by Ricky Burdett and including José Castillo, Ron Henderson, Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, and Claire Weisz – has selected Edificio E at the Universidad de Piura (Peru), designed by the Lima-based practice led by Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse.

The growing number of economically disadvantaged students pointed out the need for an additional building on campus, containing tiered classrooms, group study rooms, and faculty offices. The design works around the idea of encouraging impromptu encounters, stimulating exchange of knowledge, and ensuring comfort in a climateof year-round sun, heat, and aridness, Piura being located north of the Sechura Desert and surrounded by tropical dry forests of carob trees. Eleven independent buildings of 2 or 3 floors present large cantilevered roofs that almost touch one another, leaving crevices that prevent the sun from shining into the interior spaces directly. The buildings are arranged to make circulation quadrangular and rational while forming labyrinthine intersticial spaces. The volume, a seemingly compact 70 x 70 m block but with numerous entrances, is positioned in accordance with the cardinal points. The north and south facades incorporate vertical parasols while the east and west ones feature pored screens and intermediate spaces that keep heat at bay.

The authors of this winning project will receive US$50,000 (close to 42,800 euros) with which to finance research and a publication, and will be recognized as honorary members of the MCHAP at the IIT College of Architecture.
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