Alejandro Aravena of Chile has been selected as the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Tom Pritzker announced today. Mr . Pritzker is Chairman and President of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize.
The formal award ceremony for what has come to be known internationally as architecture’s highest honor will be at United Nations Headquarters in New York on April 4, 2016.
The 48-year-old Aravena is an architect based in Santiago, Chile. He becomes the 41st laureate of the Pritzker 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).
Mr . Pritzker said, “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 live .”
Aravena has completed remarkable buildings at the esteemed Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, including the UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini (2014), the Siamese Towers (2005), Medical School (2004), School of Architecture (2004), and the Mathematics School (1999). These energy-efficient buildings respond to the local climate with innovative, efficient facades and floor plans and offer the users natural light and convivial meeting place.
Currently under construction in Shanghai, China, is an office building for healthcare company Novartis, with office spaces designed to accommodate different modes of work — individual, collective, formal and informal.
Alejandro Aravena is the Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, titled “Reporting from the Front,” set to open in May 2016.