Rough, yet poetic: Chilean architecture has its moment

Rough, yet poetic: chilean architecture has its moment

Ask a design expert for global architectural destinations and chances are she’ll tell you to head to Germany, home of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus architects, or Brazil, land of Oscar Niemeyer’s flamboyant Modernism. Southern California would come up for treasures such as the Case Study houses and Louis Kahn’s sculptural Salk Institute in La Jolla. But a small country such as Chile? It probably wouldn’t even be mentioned.

That could soon change.

Chilean architects have begun to exert an influence well beyond the size and scale of their string-bean nation.

Since 2009, Chile’s Alejandro Aravena, founding partner of Elemental, a design firm specializing in public-interest projects, has occupied a highly influential post on the jury for the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award. The mediagenic architect — who sports a spiky crown of salt-and-pepper hair — has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, delivered a TED talk and been an innovator in the design of affordable housing and constructed buildings in Chile, Mexico and the U.S. He is now at work on his first project in China: a campus for the pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Other Chilean architects are garnering recognition. At the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola won the Silver Lion award. It was the second Chilean win in three biennials. And in 2014, Smiljan Radic built the annual pavilion at London’s Serpentine Gallery, an honor that previously went to Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry. The London Evening Standard described Radic’s craggy-yet-luminous doughnut structure, supported by boulders, as “an idea that looks forward as well as back.” []

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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