Architectural design of Alejandro Aravena
The Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Hashim Sarkis, posted on his Facebook page that Aravena’s architectural design connects the two separate threads, discovering the criteria to this year’s winner of the Pritzker Prize.
When enquiring about the work of Alejandro Aravena in terms of architectural design, it sometimes may seem like two different discussions:
The first one about his very appreciated social housing innovations, and the second one about his projects on municipalities and buildings.
Most of Aravena’s work, even if designed with the “ELEMENTAL” group or alone, fabricates a eureka moment, meaning that after a thorough interrogation of the program with the client, the architect comes up with a senseless but simple response to the charge. Following, these equations are incorporated in buildings that have similarly simple forms. The Aravena’s tone and realization are repeated with the same “aha” by the clients and occupants. He believes that if a client cannot be convinced over the phone by the architectural design, then it’s a bad idea.
This way of thinking does not lead to a party or a diagram, but it is more of a formula, or an equation, if you will. His designs are often presented as solving explications to equations, equations which most often explain volumetric relationships. During the process of interrogation, Aravena upswings from program to a birth of other inhabitation possibilities, different from those he or the inhabitants started with. What you get is not what you thought you wanted: a playground turns into a cascading landscape, or a nursery turns into an overblown building blocks. You may have wished for a detached house, you might end up getting an attached half-house.
Most of Alejandro Aravena’s architectural power comes from his ability to transform the eureka moment into inhabitation. You will end up laughing, no matter how old the joke might be. The feeling of contentment you get when encountering for the first time the Siamese.
Towers, the half house collections, the hazardously suspended in mid-air Peregrino viewing box, certainly does not wear off. What’s important is that Aravena’s buildings are suspended at the fundamental beginnings of a relationship that has yet succeeded to obtain closure. The reason being is that every time we entertain closure differently , it remains open. His equations may be solved but the architectural structure always remains open.
In time, the duplicated experiments in opening the configurations have organized his work closer in construction logic. The configurations open are to site and elements and have obtained some sort of monumentality, not by being bigger, but by being more ambiguous about their scale than normal.
What’s more important is the fact that they dodge the tectonic principles of constructions and feign or attain a stereotomic approach Beside his many contributions, Aravena will, without a doubt, be remembered as someone who inflated the formal and technical possibilities of modern architecture by reuniting it with logic and historic time.