The results are in for the best building around the world judged by Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA), and the winner of the inaugural RIBA International Prize is
Peru’s Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), also known as the modern day Machu Picchu.
The building has been designed by the Irish firm Grafton Architects and has beat some tough competition in a six-building shortlist, including works by giants like Zaha Hadid Architects and David Chipperfield Architects.
The “modern-day Machu Picchu” is actually a new campus building for the Peru’s specialist engineering university, and symbolizes social mobility for the youth of Peru. UTEC is located on the edge of a mountain in the Peru’s capital Lima’s Barranco district.
Grafton Architects designed the building in collaboration with Shell Arquitectos, and the mammoth architecture is expanded on a floor space of 35,000 sq m (376,736 sq ft). The unique and iconic shape of the building allows terraced landscapes to be viewed while also providing ample shading. The original design has been based on a concrete cliff, with meeting spaces and open areas located nearest to the ground, and classes, teaching spaces and offices placed on the higher levels.
RIBA President Jane Duncan commented on the award giving ceremony,
“UTEC is an exceptional addition to the city of Lima, and a project that will inspire other architects and universities all over the world. Grafton Architects have created an innovative new model for a university campus that is highly responsive to its local environment and community. The concept of a ‘vertical campus’ defies convention, as does the mix of open and enclosed spaces, but both are key to the success of this building visually and spatially.”
This was the first edition of the RIBA International Prize to be open to architects all over the world and the prize itself is given to promote civil architecture, empowering people towards innovation and progress.