The winner of this year’s Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize MCHAP.emerge award goes to Mexico City-based Taller Capital and their infrastructure project in Nogales, Mexico, titled Containing The Flood: Colosio Embankment Dam. Announced during the MCHAP.emerge Symposium and Award Dinner at the IIT College of Architecture, this biennial award honors notable architectural projects built in North and South America.
Loreta Castro Reguera and Jose Pablo Ambrosi of Taller Capital took home the top prize over three other finalist projects that were all based in Latin America. Now in its fourth prize cycle, the awards program underwent a two-year suspension due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, according to Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize team, it gave them "an opportunity to assess its impacts and reaffirm its agenda: to learn from architectural excellence that enriches lives."
The design duo was commended for their ability to tackle a unique challenge presented by a malfunctioning site that had fallen victim to years of neglected maintenance, overdevelopment, and silt corrosion. The realized project resulted in improved water management, pedestrian access and mobility, and the prevention of cyclical flooding.
Taller Capital shared that this project was achieved by the placement of modular terraces and enhanced by a triangular roof intervention that gave the site a distinguishable visual landmark while reinterpreting the local building typology.
"A project solving infrastructure problems with the delicacy and sensitiveness of a thoughtful architectural intervention where people are at the core of all considerations," Jury Chair Sandra Barclay commented. "It is an example on how a vulnerable neighborhood can be socially and physically transformed by going beyond a resolution of a technical problem to offer the habitants public space to use, a linear walking promenade and a shade as a place to meet."
As winners of the MCHAP.emerge Award, Ambrosi and Reguera will now lead a studio in the College of Architecture at IIT, in addition to receiving funding for a related publication in the future. They join past laureates Pezo von Ellrichshausen, PRODUCTORA DF., and Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura and are now in the running for the main Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize that is scheduled to be announced in April of 2023.
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