A concrete university campus in Peru by Grafton Architects has been named world’s best new building by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The RIBA International Prize celebrates new public buildings that have made a difference to the people that use them, as well as surrounding communities.
Grafton Architects collaborated with locally based Shell Arquitectos on the vertical campus for a specialist engineering university in Lima, located at the edge of a deep gorge.
Described by judges as an exceptional example of civil architecture, the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) is the first ever winner of the prize.
A series of landscaped terraces with overhangs and grottos make up the campus building, and also provide shade.
Inside, a succession of platforms create open meeting spaces. Teaching rooms, laboratories and offices are enclosed, inserted into and suspended from the exposed concrete structure.
Led by architect Richard Rogers, the jury also included Billie Tsien, Kunlé Adeyemi, Philip Gumuchdjian and Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
“Grafton Architects have created a new way to think about a university campus, with a distinctive vertical campus structure responding to the temperate climatic conditions and referencing Peru’s terrain and heritage,” the jury commented.