ELEMENTAL / Alejandro Aravena
Oct 11, 2018 – Feb 28, 2019

ELEMENTAL, Alejandro Aravena / UC Innovation Center, Santiago, Chile, 2015. Photo Nina Videc

In the series The Architect’s Studio Louisiana presents the ELEMENTAL studio of Chile, headed by artistic director Alejandro Aravena. In 2016 Aravena was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize and was director of the Venice Architecture Biennale with the support of the entire ELEMENTAL group.

The ELEMENTAL studio, based in the capital of Chile, Santiago, is untraditionally composed of people with a variety of skills and abilities, and their analytical approach to architecture and urban planning has led them towards original solutions to social challenges, such as the housing shortage in Santiago’s economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

 

ELEMENTAL, Alejandro Aravena / UC Innovation Center, Santiago, Chile, 2015. Photo Nina Videc

ELEMENTAL, Alejandro Aravena / UC Innovation Center, Santiago, Chile, 2015. Photo Nina Videc

Instead of designing cheap housing, ELEMENTAL builds ‘half houses’ at the same cost and enables buyers to build the other half themselves. The combination of good design and the engagement of the buyers creates more sustainable housing areas.

The studio works with architecture on both large and small scales in Chile and in the rest of the world. All projects bear the marks of their pragmatic approach. As ELEMENTAL themselves put it: “It isn’t so much about the answer, but about asking the right questions.”

The exhibition is curated by Louisiana in collaboration with ELEMENTAL and will portrait their working methods and work philosophy as well as show examples of their most important projects.

 

ELEMENTAL / Houses in Quinta Monroy, Iquique. © Cristóbal Palma

FROM PRESTIGE PROJECTS TO A NEW CONSCIOUSNESS

For several years Louisiana has presented major thematic exhibitions on architecture, culture, identity such as LIVING, New Nordic and AFRICA. With The Architect’s Studio, a series of monographic exhibition, the museum sets off from an earlier series shown 1998-2005. The focus then was on prestige projects of so-called starchitects like Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel.

 

Monterrey Housing, Monterrey, Mexico / Ramiro Ramirez. Courtesy ELEMENTAL

Villa Verde, in Constitución, Maule Region, Chile. / Suyin Chia. Courtesy ELEMENTAL

Quinta Monroy, Iquique, Tarapacá, Chile / Cristobal Palma. Courtesy ELEMENTAL

Quinta Monroy, Iquique, Tarapacá, Chile / Cristobal Palma. Courtesy ELEMENTAL

The aim of this new series is to trace the development in architecture since that time. How does a new generation of pace-setting architects work? What are their concerns, their challenges, what do they have in common? How do they respond to globalization, the environment, social problems?

The Architect’s Studio now focuses on a new generation of trendsetting architects, all of whom demonstrate a paradigm shift: from the prestige projects of the star architects at the beginning of the new millennium to today’s more sustainable and socially aware architecture. The focus of the first exhibition in the series, in 2017, was on Chinese architect Wang Shu, his wife and partner Lu Wenyu and Amateur Architecture Studio.

 

 

ELEMENTAL by Alejandro Aravena / Phaidon

PUBLICATION

Featuring stunning images by renowned architectural photographers together with sketches and drawings from Aravena’s personal notebooks, this book beautifully, often irreverently, displays ELEMENTAL’s unique working methods and philosophy. Each project – from iconic structures like the Anacleto Angelini UC Innovation Centre to seaside residences and pioneering reconstruction plans – is accompanied by Aravena’s engaging texts, bringing to life his understanding of civil society and the built environment.

 

Exhibition: ELEMENTAL / Alejandro Aravena
October 11, 2018 – February 28, 2019 / Louisiana
The exhibition series The Architect’s Studio is supported by Realdania
Please visit the exhibition page >

Publication: ELEMENTAL by Alejandro Aravena / Phaidon
Hardcover / 256 Pages, 32 x 24 cm
Publisher of Snarkitecture, Grafton Architects and Concrete
Please visit the book page >

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