Last week, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena won the Pritzker Architecture Prize. To celebrate, Dezeen has produced this short movie, which serves as an introduction to Aravena's work.
Related content: read the full citation from the Pritzker jury »
The Chilean architect studied at the Universidad Católica de Chile, and has designed a series of major buildings for the university's campus since founding his own firm in 1994.
The latest is the UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini, a monumental concrete structure with large glass openings.
Aravena is best known for his social housing work with Elemental, which describes itself as an architectural "do tank". The group aims to tackle poverty and eliminate slums as well as private projects.
Elemental's "half a good house" concept provides poor families with the parts of a house that they can't build themselves, leaving a void in the other half for them to fill according to their needs and finances.
The first of these was the Quinta Monroy development in Iquique in 2004, and it proved so successful the firm has now built 2,500 of the units at various locations.
In an exclusive interview with Dezeen, Aravena said that universities were not giving architects the tools they needed to deliver solutions to the world's housing problems.
"It would be great, with more than one million architects in the world, that more solutions and more proposals try to address the issue," he said.
Elemental's other projects include a concrete lookout point and shelter for the Ruta del Peregrino pilgrimage route in Mexico.
Related content: read more about Alejandro Aravena's key projects »
The studio has also been helping to rebuild the Chilean town of Constitución, which was devastated by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. Its projects in the town include a series of lookout points along the coastline, designed to attract tourists.