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January 21, 2018

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Library News Release

Release Date: 08/28/2014

Seattle's Central Library is finalist for prestigious architecture award

MCHAP award logo

The Seattle Public Library's Central Library is one of seven finalists for the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), which recognizes recently-built outstanding architecture projects in North and South America. The winner will be announced at the MCHAP Conference on Oct. 22 in Chicago.


"We are thrilled that Seattle's public center for reading, learning and reflection is being honored by the MCHAP committee as a finalist," said Marcellus Turner, city librarian at The Seattle Public Library. "The Central Library is a Seattle icon and well-used community treasure."


Seattle's spectacular glass and steel Central Library was designed by Rem Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture in the Netherlands in a joint venture with Seattle-based LMN Architects. At the time, Koolhaas' co-architect Joshua Prince-Ramus was a partner at OMA. Prince-Ramus now heads his own firm, REX, in New York City.


The 362,987-square-foot Central Library opened May 23, 2004 to international acclaim. The late New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp described the Central Library as "a blazing chandelier to swing your dreams upon" and "the most exciting new building it has been my honor to review" in more than 30 years of writing about architecture.


The Central Library is the only municipal building nominated as a finalist for MCHAP. The building has received numerous awards, including the American Institute of Architect's Honor Award for Outstanding Architecture; The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Washington's Platinum Award for excellence in engineering and technology; and Time Magazine's 2004 Building of the Year.


MCHAP celebrates the best built works in the Americas. The biennial prize, launched in February 2014, was founded by Wiel Arets, dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). MCHAP's first award focuses on buildings built from 2000-2013. Additional finalists are listed below.


  • 1111 Lincoln Road, a parking garage in Miami, Florida
  • Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mestizo Restaurant in Santiago, Chile
  • Altamira Residential Building in Rosario, Argentina
  • Capilla del Retiro in Auco, a chapel in Los Andes, Chile
  • Iberê Camargo Foundation, a foundation and museum in Porto Alegre, Brazil


For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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