23 juli 2016

Alejandro Aravena explains his approach to social housing

Quinta Monroy, 2004, Iquique, Chile Quinta Monroy Housing, 2004, Iquique, Chile - Left: The houses so they stands, built with public funds. Right: significant raising of standards, achieved through their own efforts. - Photo: Cristobal Palma.
Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, this year's winner of the Prizker award, explains his philosophy:

When Aravena is honored with an architectural prize this is the result of multiple projects, and not at  least his commitment to social housing. Aravenadrew inspiration from the favelas. Instead of building a large building with many small units, he built flexible homes that each family could adapt to their own needs.

Alejandro Aravena is an example of an architect with a comprehensive understanding and equivalent approach to the built environment. He emphasises the links between social, economic assumptions and design of the environment that surrounds us. Much of the secret lies, however, in letting go of how many people think about design. Instead Aravena used the inhabitants' knowledge about their actual needs to create a functional basic structure, which then can be modified and extended over time.

Aravena's philosophy involves the local community involved in the process of how a project should be designed and implemented. It's clear commitment to create a better urban environment for all was one of the foremost reasons why Aravena årest Prizker price. This is not just about his work as an architect, but also his ability to actively put the architecture into a larger social context.

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