Designed by Irish Grafton Architects, the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) in Peru has won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) prize.

Grafton Architects collaborated with local partner Shell Arquitectos to create the new building located in the Barranco district of Lima, which is designated as the new campus building for Lima’s specialist engineering university.

The northern boundary of the UTEC campus faces the ocean and has been re-conceived as the main façade of the project.

The architects have positioned specialist rooms such as the auditorium, conference rooms, and the theatre and movie venue at the base of the cliff face.

The southern part of the building provides a view of the city across gardens.

"Seen from across the ravine, it is as bold and as pure a statement of the symbiosis between architecture and engineering."

A new ramp has been created which links the new building with the university with centralised, formal stairs and lifts installed at the main arrival space.

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Commenting on the design, the RIBA jury said: “Sitting on the border of two residential districts in Lima, in section UTEC perches tantalisingly on the edge of a ravine.

“Seen from across the ravine, it is as bold and as pure a statement of the symbiosis between architecture and engineering as could be imagined; a piece of geology imposed on its pivotal site, mirroring the organic curve of the landscape and accommodating itself in the city.

“To its close neighbours, it is a series of landscaped terraces with clefts, overhangs and grottos, a modern day Machu Picchu.”

Image: Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia. Photo: courtesy of Iwan Baan/ Grafton Architects.