Breaking: Alejandro Aravena Named Director of 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture

Architecture International Urbanism
Alejandro Aravena. Image via holcimfoundation.org

Alejandro Aravena. Image via holcimfoundation.org

Its final. Alejandro Aravena has been named Director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Chilean architect will have just 10 months to prepare the exhibition, which opens May 28. He follows David Chipperfield and Rem Koolhaas in directing the exhibition.

Siamese Towers by Alejandro Aravena.

Siamese Towers by Alejandro Aravena.

Aravena is from Santiago, Chile, where he directs the firm ELEMENTAL S.A., a multi-disciplinary design office that works on projects in a range of scale. He is possibly best known for his Siamese Towers, and was named by Herzog + de Meuron as one of the Ordos 100. He has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

According to director Paolo Baratta,“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. This Biennale intends to react once again to the gap between architecture and civil society, which in recent decades has transformed architecture into spectacle on the one hand, yet made it dispensable on the other. Among architects of the new generation, Alejandro Aravena is, in our opinion, the one who can best describe this reality and highlight its vitality.

He continued, “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 said of the appointment, “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. This is what we would like people to come and see at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: success stories worth to be told and exemplary cases worth to be shared where architecture did, is and will make a difference in those battles and frontiers”.

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