Alejandro Aravena has been appointed Director for the 15th Architecture Venice Biennale.
Commenting on the exhibition which is due to be held “May 28th to November 27th 2016’ he said, “There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life.”
The Chilean born architect, who has previously won Venice’s Silver Lion Award, aims to highlight success stories and exemplary cases worth talking about where a real difference in the battles and frontiers has already been made.
His worldwide awards include:
“The 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be about focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo. We would like to present cases that, despite the difficulties, instead of resignation or bitterness, propose and do something. We would like to show that in the permanent debate about the quality of the built environment, there is not only need but also room for action”.
Aravena, who established his own practice, Alejandro Aravena Architects, in 1994 where he has built numerous schools, workshops, poor and social housing alongside and innovation towers and writers cabins. From 2000 until 2005 he was professor at Harvard University, where together with engineer Andres Iacobelli he found the social housing initiative ELEMENTAL, an Urban Do Tank, partner of Universidad Catolica and Chilean Oil Company Copec.
Since then, Elemental has expanded their field of action to a wide range of infrastructure, public space and public buildings that use the city as a shortcut towards equality: the Metropolitan Promenade and Children’s Park in Santiago, the reconstruction of the city of Constitucion after the 2010 earthquake, the redesign of the Copper mining town of Calama or the intervention of the Choapa Region for Pelambres Mining Company.
Paolo Baratta, President of la Biennale, said: “After the important experimental Biennale developed by Rem Koolhaas, dedicated entirely to the curator’s research, it is our belief that we must follow up with a Biennale that convenes the architects, and is dedicated to the exploration of the new frontier that demonstrate the vitality of architecture, a frontier that spans across various parts of the world and shows architecture engaged in providing specific responses to specific demands.