After decades "erased from the architectural map", Peru is making a comeback thanks to international recognition of impressive new buildings in the country, according to this year's Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize winners Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse.
"Peru is beginning to be at the top of the architectural map again and... these recognitions are helping Peruvian architects to do better quality architecture," Crousse told Dezeen in an exclusive interview.
"Peruvian architects are now more confident. We are now thinking that we can do high-quality architecture, which was not evident before."
Peruvian architecture is back on architectural map
This recent shift ends decades of dearth in the country's architecture scene, which began to blossom in the mid-20th century but was cut down when conflict began the 1970s.
"There was an enormous void because we had a military coup d'état, and then 20 years of terrorism and violence, which erased Peru from the architectural map," Crousse said.
"The generation that preceded us was the generation that lived in the difficult years of violence, they couldn't imagine that you can do architecture of quality."
Eleanor Gibson: You've experienced the fruits of your labour both with the Mies prize, and also Sandra, you received the Women Architect of the Year. You're bringing the spotlight to Peru, what's your take on that?
Sandra Barclay: For Peru, it's very important. There are many good architects here, a group of good architects. We begin to have a presence in the world of architecture, in the scene of architecture, it's important.
Jean Crousse: It's important to say the Peruvian architecture was important in the 1960s by two phenomenons: the shanty towns that were studied a lot and published in international media, and all the social housing that was done by our president who was an architect.
After that there was an enormous void because we have a military coup d'état and then 20 years of terrorism and violence, which erased Peru from the architectural map.
Peru is beginning to be at the top in the architectural map again and, on the other side, these recognitions are helping Peruvian architects to do better quality architecture. Peruvian architects are now more confident, we are thinking that we can do high quality architecture, which was not evident before.
Eleanor Gibson: Is there a generation of architects emerging from the country?
Jean Crousse: There are a group of architects who are more aware of this and they are trying to find new ways for Peruvian architecture in a country, which still has a lot of problems. But it is a new generation that is taking these problems as opportunities and not being defeated by this conditions.