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  • An (Anti)social Architect

    On a Review of Aravena Titled A Half-Happy Architecture

    Text: Balázs Rose

    2016 was an exceptional year in Alejandro Aravena’s life. Besides the Pritzker Prize, the architect from Chile has also been acting as the chief curator of the 15th Venetian Architectural Biennale. It is quite a unique achievement that within a year, he received two such excellent professional recognitions and attention from the media, which is quite rare even separately and individually. Reporting From the Front – this is the slogan of the Biennale, which directed the topic into the flow of „socially dedicated”. Now, that Aravena is aged 48, his first social housing estate, Quinta Monroy was built 13 years ago, and earned him international fame and thus has a past long enough to survey its impact on society.
    Professor Camillo Boano (University College of London), urbanist and critical theorist in co-operation with Francisco Vergara Perucich (Universidad de las Américas, Santiago de Chile) surveyed with strict criticism the contradictory economic basis and results of Aravena’s architecture, who, as they claim, misused and took advantage of the social topic. This article was published in issue No. 4 of Vicaversa online journal on architectural criticism in April, 2016.