Alejandro Aravena wins 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize

by Kim Megson | 13 Jan 2016

Alejandro Aravena of Chile has been selected as the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.

The Pritzker Prize – widely regarded as architecture's highest accolade – honours a living architect or architects “whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment, and who has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.”

Since 2001, Aravena has been executive director of the Santiago-based studio Elemental. The firm, which describes itself as “a do tank, not a think tank”, focuses on projects of public interest and social impact, including public space, infrastructure and social housing.

Aravena’s leisure projects with Elemental include the Metropolitan Promenade and Bicentennial Children’s Park in Santiago and a writer’s cabin for the Jan Michalski Foundation in Montricher, Switzerland. The studio is also designing a cultural centre in the city of Constitución, which it has helped to reconstruct following the 2010 earthquake and tsunami that hit Chile.

From May to November this year, Aravena will serve as artistic director for the Venice Architecture Biennale, which will focus on improving quality of life within the built environment.

In its citation, the Pritzker jury said: “Alejandro Aravena has delivered works of architectural excellence in the fields of private, public and educational commissions both in his home country and abroad.

“He understands materials and construction, but also the importance of poetry and the power of architecture to communicate on many levels.”

The judges praised Aravena’s contributions to “architecture and humanity past and present”, stating: “He has a deep understanding of both architecture and civil society, as is reflected in his writing, his activism and his designs. The role of the architect is now being challenged to serve greater social and humanitarian needs, and Alejandro Aravena has clearly, generously and fully responded to this challenge.”

Tom Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize, added: “The jury has selected an architect who deepens our understanding of what is truly great design.

"Alejandro Aravena has pioneered a collaborative practice that produces powerful works of architecture and also addresses key challenges of the 21st century. His built work gives economic opportunity to the less privileged, mitigates the effects of natural disasters, reduces energy consumption, and provides welcoming public space. Innovative and inspiring, he shows how architecture at its best can improve people’s lives.”

Responding to his prize win, Aravena said: “Looking backwards, we feel deeply thankful. No achievement is individual. Architecture is a collective discipline. So we think, with gratitude, of all the people who contributed to give form to a huge diversity of forces at play. Looking into the future we anticipate freedom.

"The prestige, the reach, the gravitas of the prize is such that we hope to use its momentum to explore new territories, face new challenges, and walk into new fields of action. After such a peak, the path is unwritten. So our plan is not to have a plan, face the uncertain, be open to the unexpected. Finally, looking at the present, we are just overwhelmed, ecstatic, happy. It's time to celebrate and share our joy with as many people as possible.”

Aravena becomes the 41st winner of the prize, the first Pritzker Laureate from Chile, and the fourth from Latin America, after Luis Barragán (1980), Oscar Niemeyer (1988), and Paulo Mendes da Rocha (2006).

He will receive US$100,000 (€91,700, £68,000) in prize money and the famous Pritzker bronze medal.

Nominations for candidates were accepted internationally from past laureates, architects, academics, critics and politicians. The list was then judged by the Pritzker jury.

The prize was founded in 1979 by the Pritzker family. Previous winners include Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito, Richard Rodgers, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster and James Stirling.

The formal award ceremony will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 4 April.

Pritzker Prize  architecture  design 
Related stories

2016 Pritzker Prize winner to be revealed on 13 January

Alejandro Aravena of Chile has been selected as the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. The Pritzker Prize – widely regarded as architecture's highest accolade – honours a living architect or architects “whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment, and who has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.” Since 2001, Aravena has been executive director of the Santiago-based studio Elemental. The firm,
CLD,ARC,DES
Aravena is the 41st winner of the prize, the first Pritzker Laureate from Chile and the fourth from Latin America / Cristobal Palma
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The architect argues that clients should resist the ‘bigger is better’ ethos
Meis has helped design some of the world’s most successful stadiums
"It’s one of the tragedies of the US that so many of our stadiums get replaced after 20 years"

The Everton and AS Roma stadium architect talks through the challenges and rewards of sports facility design

UNSense is developing hi-tech solutions
Ben van Berkel believes practices will all become ‘arch tech’ firms
"We’re living in the age of the iPhone, yet the architecture and construction industries are still in the Walkman phase"

On the launch of his tech startup

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The mixed use Vilnius Plaza development will include a new public plaza
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

Kerry Hill Architects team members,  top left to Kerry Hill, Tanuj Goenka, Isabelle Vergnaud and Tim Bradley
"This carefully choreographed interplay of room and courtyard extends through all scales of the masterplan"

The desire to save a threatened forest and historic buildings in China led to a truly unique resort, We speak to the people that made it happen

Research: The wellness living concepts set to push the design of healthy living environments to the next level
"Wellness real estate makes up about 1.5% of the total annual global construction market"

Research by the Global Wellness Institute valued wellness real estate at US$134bn in 2017 and growing. The research authors outline the implications

features
Gabrielle Bullock studied architecture and fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design
"I’m one of 424 black female licensed architects in the US. We represent 0.2 per cent of the profession"

Architects must reflect the world they design for, says Perkins+Will’s director of global diversity

Thun has designed a hotel, spa and medical centre in Bad Wiessee
Matteo Thun leads a design studio of over 70 people, with offices in Milan and Shanghai
"We want a longer life cycle for every product, even if it means business is slower"

Simplicity and sustainability should be at the heart of all design argues the Italian architect

cladkit product news
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
cladkit product news
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates