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Pritzker winning architecture: Aravena's buildings

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What has Alejandro Aravena built? A visual showcase of the 2016 Pritzker Prize winner’s key projects around the world

When awarding Aravena this year’s prize the judges said his schemes, which range from social housing to university buildings, created a ’sense of wonder and revelation’. Here, the AJ takes a look back at his practice ELEMENTAL’s projects from the past 18 years. 

2015 

Writer’s Cabin, Jan Michalski Foundation, Montricher, Switzerland 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Writer’s Cabin, Jan Michalski Foundation, Montricher, Switzerland

This was the winning scheme in an international competition to design a suspended cabin for a writer on the estate of the Jan Michalski Foundation in Switzerland. The linear cabin, which is suspended from a grid of columns, features space for cooking, eating, and living and working. 

2015

Constitución Cultural Centre, Constitución, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Constitución Seaside Promenade, Constitución, Chile

Built as part of ELEMENTAL’s Post-Tsunami Sustainable Reconstruction Plan for Constitución, this 830m2 public building is located on the side of the town square. It features a double-height portico and includes a series of independent and flexible spaces.

2014 

UC Innovation Centre – Anacleto Angelini, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

UC Innovation Centre – Anacleto Angelini, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

This $18 million project, which won the architecture category of the Design Museum’s Design of the Year prize, features open-air spaces throughout the building and a permeable atrium core. The building’s structure and services have been moved to the outside perimeter to create an opaque façade. 

Source: UC Innovation Centre – Anacleto Angelini by ELEMENTAL

2014 

Constitución Seaside Promenade, Constitución, Chile

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Constitución Seaside Promenade, Constitución, Chile

Developed as part of the practice’s Post-Tsunami Sustainable Reconstruction Plan for Constitución in Chile, this scheme consists of a series of coastal lookout points along the river mouth. The platforms are connected by a 4.5km cycle lane. 

2013 

Villa Verde Housing, Constitución, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Villa Verde Housing, Constitución, Chile

For this project the practice was asked by Arauco Forest Company to create houses which would be affordable to its workers. On a 8,500m² site ELEMENTAL created 484 homes based on its previous incremental housing but with a higher standard due to the greater availability of resources. Initial homes were built at 57m2 and these could be extended by families to reach an area of 85m2

2012 

Bicentennial Children’s Park, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Bicentennial Children’s Park, Santiago, Chile

Created to celebrate the bicentennial of Chile, this $4 million children’s park consists of over 1,800m2 of children’s playground, including tree houses, swings, a forest of water spheres, and a toboggan cascade with more than 60 toboggans arranged on the hillside. 

2010 

Monterrey Housing, Monterrey, Mexico 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Monterrey Housing, Monterrey, Mexico

Through this 6,591m² scheme, ELEMENTAL produced a solution for Mexican housing which offers homes for $20,000. The project features housing beneath duplex apartments with spaces for the residents to expand their properties. 

2010 

Las Cruces Pilgrim Lookout Point, Jalisco, Mexico 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Source: Iwan Baan

Las Cruces Pilgrim Lookout Point, Jalisco, Mexico

Part of the 117km Pilgrim Road, the brief for this lookout was to ‘generate an architecture able to age as if it were a natural element’. ELEMENTAL designed its response as a ‘hollow stone’ offering shadow, cross-ventilation, and a view over the path. 

2008 

St Edward’s University Dorms, Austin, Texas 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

St Edward’s University Dorms, Austin, Texas

This 300-bed student accommodation scheme includes housing, social areas, parking and other campus facilities on a narrow 30,000m² site. 

2005 

Siamese Towers, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Source: Cristobel Palma

Siamese Towers, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

For this scheme, Aravena’s practice was asked to create a glass tower, but realising the material was inappropriate for Chile’s climate they used the material in a different way. The scheme uses glass on the outside and created another building on the inside. Air is allowed inbetween the two creating convection currents and eliminating heat gains before they reach the inside glass building. 

2004 

Medical School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Source: Roland Halbe

Medical School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

When asked to design a range of different classrooms including seminars and auditorium spaces in a very dense context, ELEMENTAL answered with this 9,000m2 scheme. Courtyards have been brought up through the building’s floors creating what the practice described as ‘vertical cloisters’. 

2004 

Architecture School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Source: Martin Bravo

Architecture School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

When tasked with remodelling one of the university’s existing nineties buildings, ELEMENTAL wrapped it in a new skin. This improved energy performance and allowed review spaces to be created between the two building skins. 

2004 

Quinta Monroy Housing, Iquique, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Quinta Monroy Housing, Iquique, Chile

This project required the practice to create homes for 100 families living in a 30-year-old slum. Using a subsidy of $7,500 each of the houses began as 36m² but the families could extend these over time. Most of the homes on the estate are now worth over $20,000 but all the families have preferred to stay and keep on improving their homes, instead of selling them. 

1999 

Mathematics School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Source: Tadeuz Jalocha

Mathematics School, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

This 2,000m² building for the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, houses the university’s mathematics department. It was designed around using the ‘corridor as a design opportunity’. The building was added as an extension of the site’s exiting buildings – many also designed by ELEMENTAL. 

1997 

Metropolitan Promenade, Santiago, Chile 

Projects by Alejandro Aravena's practice ELEMENTAL

Projects by Alejandro Aravena’s practice ELEMENTAL

Metropolitan Promenade, Santiago, Chile

This scheme has created a 10km continuous path along an old agricultural canal running at the base of the Santiago’s Metropolitan Park. Later, the practice also designed a new 10 acre children’s park on the hillside overlooking the walkway.

 

 

 

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