Chilean architect and 2016 Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena has been selected as this year's laureate of the Charles Jencks Award. Presented annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the award recognizes individuals or practices for recent significant contributions to both the theory and practice of architecture. Previous winners include Herzog & de Meuron, Benedetta Tagliabue, Níall McLaughlin, Rem Koolhaas, and Steven Holl.
Aravena will officially receive the award at a ceremony on October 15 at the RIBA in London, where he will also give a public lecture, chaired by Charles Jencks.
Read on for more details we've received from RIBA.
"Alejandro Aravena is an excellent role model for students and emerging practitioners," said Chair of the RIBA Charles Jencks Award judging panel and RIBA Director of Education, David Gloster. "Energetically combining professional practice, written pedagogy, and academia, his work has a classical tectonic force, a humbling relevance to the global debate about social housing, and a refusal to be subject to conventional expectations."
"Alejandro Aravena graduated as an architect from the Catholic University of Chile in 1992, continuing his studies at IUAV in Venice. After establishing his own practice, Alejandro went on to teach at Harvard University, where he founded the 'Do Tank' ELEMENTAL with Andrés Iacobelli. Led by Alejandro, alongside Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó and Diego Torres, the practice, based in Chile, works globally, on projects of public interest and social impact, including housing, public space, infrastructure and transportation."
"In 2010, Alejandro was granted membership as an International Fellow of the RIBA. In 2015, he was announced as Director of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, and in 2016, he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize."
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