This article, written by Svetlana Kondratyeva and translated by Olga Baltsatu for Strelka Magazine, examines the most interesting cases of the role of culture in sustainable urban development based on the UNESCO report.
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As the common phrase attests, “history is written by the victors.” We therefore know that the story of the West is that of Europe and the United States, while the other actors in world history are minimized or invisible: it happened to the Chinese and Japanese during World War II, to the Ottoman Empire in sixteenth-century Europe, and to racial majorities in the common reading of Latin American independence. The same thing happens in architecture.
Chilean architect Alejandro has been selected as one of "28 creative geniuses who defined culture in 2016" by the New York Times, in a list that includes personalities such as First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, singer Lady Gaga, photographer William Eggleston and designer Junya Watanabe.
As the birthplace of our most recent Pritzker Prize winner, Alejandro Aravena, Santiago, Chile is full of iconic architecture. Because many of these buildings are situated in busy urban areas, their superior design is easy to miss. In an effort to encourage viewers to slow down and appreciate the volume, facades, context, and function of these urban landmarks, Benjamin Oportot and Alexandra Gray of San Sebastian University guided their 4th-year students in producing axonometric drawings of 11 buildings. The project centered on medium-sized office buildings built between 1989 and 2015, particularly focusing on their use of reinforced concrete.
Geography and climate are two important conditions that determine how people can live in a certain environment. When we add to this the cultural characteristics of a region, what appears, as Carl Sauer would say, is a "cultural landscape," a result of humankind’s settlement and adaptation to the territory. When architecture adopts a sensitivity to these conditions, and concerns itself with what the environment offers, living conditions take on a quality of lasting comfort.
After four months of research identifying works in Latin America and the Caribbean that met the eligibility criteria of the 'Latin American Architecture Prize Rogelio Salmona: open / collective spaces' a list of finalist has been compiled. Members of the International Curatorial Committee, architects Ana Maria Duran (Andean Region), Ruth Verde Zein (Brazil Region) and Fernando Diez (Southern Cone Region), and Art History background Louise Noelle Gras (Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Region), postulated a total of 62 works covering the four regions.
In an exclusive half-hour interview with Alejandro Aravena, Monocle's Josh Fehnert questions the recent Pritzker Prize-laureate on Chilean architecture and urbanism, why he considers simple design as the key to alleviating the world's biggest woes, and the conception and ultimate result of his 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
In early March, at the Presidential Palace in Chile, a never before seen event took place for Chilean architecture. Architects, government officials as well as the media gathered for the first Venice Biennale press conference to be held in Spanish.
As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
On the eve of the Venice Biennale, The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman sits down with Alejandro Aravena in an intimate profile for T Magazine’s Beauty Issue. Visiting a number of projects by the architect and his office, Elemental, Kimmelman experiences socially minded architecture in an age of informal growth, income inequality, and mounting threats linked to climate change, all while learning about Aravena’s own path and growth as a practitioner. Although told by colleagues that he might be standoffish, Kimmelman finds Aravena to be “earnest, open, a little nerdy –– and deadly serious.”
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