Award-winning, Santiago, Chile–based architect Alejandro Aravena has been chosen as the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. Aravena, partner and executive director at Elemental, is known for his focus on energy-efficient design, implemented in buildings at Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, as well as in the post-earthquake redesign of the Chilean port city Constitución, which includes low-cost housing and a cultural center.
“The jury has selected an architect who deepens our understanding of what is truly great design,” said Tom Pritzker, chairman and president of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize. “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.”
Aravena is the director of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, “Reporting From the Front,” which will open in May 2016. He is the first Laureate from Chile and the fourth from Latin America, following Luis Barragán in 1980, Oscar Niemeyer in 1988, and Paulo Mendes da Rocha in 2006. Aravena will be recognized in a ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York on April 4.