First Look: "Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition

13:01 - 26 May, 2016
First Look: "Reporting from the Front" Arsenale Exhibition, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

"Architecture is about giving form to the places where we live. It is not more complicated than that, but also not easier than that." - Alejandro Aravena

Alejandro Aravena Is Profiled by Michael Kimmelman for T Magazine

06:00 - 23 May, 2016
Alejandro Aravena Is Profiled by Michael Kimmelman for T Magazine, © Anthony Cotsifas
© Anthony Cotsifas

On the eve of the Venice Biennale, The New York TimesMichael 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.”

Jury Members for the 2016 Venice Biennale Revealed

07:30 - 10 May, 2016
Jury Members for the 2016 Venice Biennale Revealed

The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, upon recommendation from Alejandro Aravena, have announced the jury for the forthcoming Venice Biennale who will award the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition Reporting From the Front, and the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the International Exhibition Reporting From the FrontThey will also have the opportunity to award one special mention to National Participations and two special mentions to the participants in the International Exhibition.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha Awarded Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

08:00 - 6 May, 2016
Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha archive
Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha archive

The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, upon recommendation from Alejandro Aravena, have announced the Brazilian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha as the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Reporting From the Front. Citing the "timelessness" of his work "both physically and stylistically" as "the most striking attribute of his architecture," the board have also stated that "this astonishing consistency may be the consequence of his ideological integrity and structural genius."

Why Aravena's Open Source Project is a Huge Step Toward Better, Cheaper Housing for Everyone

09:50 - 29 April, 2016
Why Aravena's Open Source Project is a Huge Step Toward Better, Cheaper Housing for Everyone

This article by Paperhouses founder Joana Pacheco was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Aravena's Small Step, Open Source's Big Leap."

When Alejandro Aravena was awarded the Pritzker Prize earlier this month, he made a remarkable and significant announcement: he had published the plans of four of his social housing projects on his website, for anyone and everyone to study and use.

Through the work of his firm Elemental, Aravena is known for his interest in incremental, participatory housing design: a common-sense way of working within financial restraints and a cornerstone of Elemental’s studio work. The motto—focus first on what is most difficult to achieve, what cannot be done individually, and what will guarantee the common good in the future—resulted in a “half a house.” First introduced over a decade ago, the model consists of an expandable 40 square-meter (431 square-feet) container with basic infrastructure (partitions, structural and firewalls, bathroom, kitchen, stairs, a roof) built-in and added to over time. It is not only an achievement from a conceptual and project management standpoint, but also an aesthetically open and diverse project. From this one idea stemmed 100 variations.

Alejandro Aravena's Pritzker Prize Acceptance Speech

14:45 - 25 April, 2016
Courtesy of ©The Hyatt Foundation / The Pritzker Architecture Prize
Courtesy of ©The Hyatt Foundation / The Pritzker Architecture Prize

ArchDaily is pleased to share, with the permission of The Hyatt Foundation and The Pritzker Architecture Prize, a transcript of Alejandro Aravena's acceptance speech at the April 4, 2016 award ceremony for the 2016 Pritzker Prize presented at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Brazil Announces Exhibition Theme for 2016 Venice Biennale

08:00 - 8 April, 2016
Brazil Announces Exhibition Theme for 2016 Venice Biennale, Complexo Jardim Edite, Fernando de Mello Franco, Marta Moreira e Milton Braga (MMBB); Eduardo Ferroni e Pablo Hereñú (H+F), São Paulo - © Nelson Kon. Image Courtesy of Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Complexo Jardim Edite, Fernando de Mello Franco, Marta Moreira e Milton Braga (MMBB); Eduardo Ferroni e Pablo Hereñú (H+F), São Paulo - © Nelson Kon. Image Courtesy of Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Responding to curator Alejandro Aravena's theme "Reporting from the front," the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo has selected Washington Fajardo to present an exhibition titled “JUNTOS.” The project for the Brazilian pavilion will highlight stories of people who have fought to achieve changes in institutional passivity in Brazil's big cities. They have created architecture within slow processes, bringing stable solutions in a politically tumultuous territory. According to the curator, “the exhibition is a composition of these pathways and partnerships, where activism meets architects and architecture, becoming a magnet in the preparation of a new space.”

ELEMENTAL Releases Plans of 4 Housing Projects for Open-Source Use

21:00 - 5 April, 2016
ELEMENTAL Releases Plans of 4 Housing Projects for Open-Source Use

The 2016 Pritzker laureate Alejandro Aravena has announced that his firm, ELEMENTAL, has chosen to release four of their social housing designs to the public for open source use. Speaking in a panel discussion held by the Pritzker Prize earlier tonight titled Challenges Ahead for the Built Environment, Aravena stressed the need to work together to tackle the challenge of rapid migration that is taking place all around the globe, a message closely tied to the theme of the upcoming Venice Biennale which Aravena is directing. In this spirit, DWGs of these four designs - which offer the basic elements of a house at a low budget and encourage the residents to expand into an adjacent space as they find the money to do so - will be available for architects worldwide to learn from.

Watch the Pritzker Laureates' Conversation Live Today (6:30pm ET)

10:30 - 5 April, 2016
Watch the Pritzker Laureates' Conversation Live Today (6:30pm ET)

Tonight, the "Pritzker Laureates' Conversation"—titled Challenges Ahead for the Built Environment—will be broadcast live at 6.30pm ET. It will provide a rare opportunity to hear 2016 Pritzker Laureate Alejandro Aravena in conversation with previous Pritzker Prize Laureates, including Richard Meier, Glenn Murcutt, Jean Nouvel, Renzo PianoChristian de Portzamparc, Richard Rogers, and Wang Shu. The conversation will be moderated by Cathleen McGuigan.

Watch the Pritzker Prize Award Ceremony Honoring Alejandro Aravena Live Today (7.30pm ET)

10:00 - 4 April, 2016
Watch the Pritzker Prize Award Ceremony Honoring Alejandro Aravena Live Today (7.30pm ET)

Tonight the Pritzker Prize will hold its annual award ceremony, this year honoring the work of 2016 Laureate Alejandro Aravena, who is also directing this year's Venice Architecture Biennale. The ceremony is being broadcast from the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Make sure to catch the event live right here, tonight at 7.30pm Eastern Time (4.30pm PDT, 12.30am GMT, 1.30 am CET, 7.30am HKT).

2016 Venice Biennale Will Begin a "Crusade Against Indifference"

14:15 - 3 March, 2016

Yesterday, and for the first time in La Biennale's history, the press tour included a stop in the Southern Hemisphere. From his home city of Santiago, Alejandro Aravena shared more details about the upcoming exhibition in Chile's presidential palace (La Moneda) alongside the president of the Biennale and the president of Chile. 

The main information to emerge from the press conference was the presentation of the lone image that represents this year's Biennale and the announcement of the participants. In the video above, Aravena gracefully explains how Bruce Chatwin's image of German archaeologist Maria Reiche encapsulates "the Biennale as a whole." 

Aravena stressed that he wanted the disclaimer for the exhibition to be the exact opposite of "Don't Try This At Home." He explained, "Given the complexity and variety of challenges that architecture has to respond to, 'Reporting from the Front' will be about listening to those that were able to gain some perspective and consequently are in the position to share some knowledge and experiences with those of us standing on the ground."

Live Streaming from Santiago: Alejandro Aravena Speaks at the 2016 Venice Biennale Press Conference

11:03 - 2 March, 2016
Live Streaming from Santiago: Alejandro Aravena Speaks at the 2016 Venice Biennale Press Conference , Alejandro Aravena y Paolo Baratta. Image © Natalia Espina bajo licencia CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / CNCA
Alejandro Aravena y Paolo Baratta. Image © Natalia Espina bajo licencia CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / CNCA

Today at 10am EST, the press conference for the 2016 Venice Biennale will take place at Chile’s Presidential Palace La Moneda. During the conference Alejandro Aravena will present “Reporting from the Front,” his central exhibition for the Biennale. 

Alejandro Aravena Reveals More Details About the 2016 Venice Biennale, "Reporting From the Front"

08:20 - 22 February, 2016
Alejandro Aravena Reveals More Details About the 2016 Venice Biennale, "Reporting From the Front", Courtesy of La Biennale
Courtesy of La Biennale

The 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed this year by Alejandro Aravena, have revealed more information about the central exhibition and associated projects which will be on display at a press conference today in Venice. According to La Biennale, 'Reporting from the Front' will form one single show spanning the venues of the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, featuring work from 88 participants from 37 countries. Of these, 50 will be presenting work for the first time and 33 are architects under the age of 40. "Reporting from the Front" will share work from Architects tackling issues relating to segregation, inequality, suburbia, sanitation, natural disasters, the housing shortage, migration, crime, traffic , waste, pollution, and community participation.

It’s Elementary (Not): On the Architecture of Alejandro Aravena

09:30 - 25 January, 2016
It’s Elementary (Not): On the Architecture of Alejandro Aravena, Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma
Siamese Towers. Image © Cristobal Palma

When reading about the work of Alejandro Aravena, it can sometimes seem like two distinct discussions: one about his widely praised social housing innovations, and another about his impressive (albeit more conventional in scope) buildings for universities and municipalities. In this post originally shared on his Facebook page Hashim Sarkis, the Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, connects the two apparently separate threads of Aravena's architecture, discovering the underlying beliefs that guide this year's Pritzker Prize winner.

AD Round-Up: The Best of Contemporary Chilean Architecture

06:00 - 22 January, 2016
AD Round-Up: The Best of Contemporary Chilean Architecture, Innovation Center UC / Elemental. Image © Nico Saieh
Innovation Center UC / Elemental. Image © Nico Saieh

Chilean architecture, having long stood in the shadow of more established design traditions in Europe and North America, has been catapulted to the forefront of global attention with the news that architect Alejandro Aravena has been named the 41st Pritzker Prize Laureate – the first Chilean to receive the award. He is also the director of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, which focuses on the role of architects in improving the living conditions of people across the globe, especially in cases where scarce resources and the “inertia of reality” stand in the way of progress.

2016 Pritzker Prize Winner Alejandro Aravena's Work in 15 Images

14:00 - 20 January, 2016
2016 Pritzker Prize Winner Alejandro Aravena's Work in 15 Images, © Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma
© Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma

Alejandro Aravena is the first Chilean architect to ever receive a Pritzker Prize. Praised for reviving the socially engaged architect, the 48-year-old architect and executive director of ELEMENTAL has proved architecture's ability to solve pressing global issues through his diverse portfolio. Read on to see 15 projects that exemplify Aravena's contribution to architecture so far. 

Three Years in Villa Verde, ELEMENTAL’s Incremental Housing Project in Constitución, Chile

14:00 - 18 January, 2016
Three Years in Villa Verde, ELEMENTAL’s Incremental Housing Project in Constitución, Chile

Where were you when it happened? On February 27, 2010 an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Chile, causing destruction across the country. Ask any Chilean what they were doing at the time, and they will have a story to tell.

Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

09:10 - 13 January, 2016
Alejandro Aravena Wins 2016 Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena has been named as the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize. Highlighting his dedication to improve urban environments and to address the global housing crisis, the Pritzker Prize jury praised the way in which the Chilean architect has "risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today's social and economic challenges." Aravena is the 41st Pritzker Prize laureate and the first Chilean to receive the award.