Chilean architect wins Pritzker Prize for benefiting poor residents

These were the buildings that underprivileged Chileans used to inhabit.

Now they are brand new, thanks to the design of 48-year-old architect Alejandro Aravena, who won the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize on January 14.

(Soundbite) ALEJANDRO ARAVENA, Chilean Architect
“It is interested, worried or affected by insecurity, pollution, congestion and segregation, you name it. I mean there are so many issues in an independent environment. Those should be the starting point for architecture.”

Aravena was the first Chilean and the third Latin American winner of the award.

The prize organizers hailed Aravena and his team as “giving economic opportunities to the underprivileged, mitigating the effects of natural disasters, reducing energy consumption and providing welcoming public space.”

After becoming Pritzker laureate, Aravena has more ambitious projects to materialize.

(Soundbite) ALEJANDRO ARAVENA, Chilean Architect
“What we are trying to do is to know that location is so important, because schools, transportation and jobs are in this part of the city, which is the richest part of the city. What we are looking for is to be able to find that who is able to pay for the very expensive land but keep all those networks.”

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