An 8.8 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010, destroyed this building in Concepcion, Chile.

Chilean Architect Wins Presitigious Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena, 48, and his colleagues helped to rebuild the city of Constitución after a February 2010 earthquake and tsunami devastated the city.

Alejandro Aravena, 48, a Chilean architect who leads a design group that helped to rebuild the city of Constitución after a February 2010 earthquake and tsunami devastated the city, has received the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered architecture's highest honor. Tom Pritzker, chairman and president of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize, said the jury "has selected an architect who deepens our understanding of what is truly great design. Alejandro Aravena has pioneered a collaborative practice that produces powerful works of architecture and also addresses key challenges of the 21st century. His built work gives economic opportunity to the less privileged, mitigates the effects of natural disasters, reduces energy consumption, and provides welcoming public space. Innovative and inspiring, he shows how architecture at its best can improve people's lives."

The award ceremony will take place at the United Nations' headquarters in New York City on April 4. Arevena receives $100,000 and a bronze medallion.

Aravena, who is based in Santiago, Chile, graduated from the Universidad Católica de Chile in 1992. He leads ELEMENTAL, a "Do Tank" that is focused on projects of public interest and social impact, including housing, public space, infrastructure, and transportation. Aravena's partners in ELEMENTAL are Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó, and Diego Torres.

Aravena has completed several energy-efficient buildings in Santiago, and a building now under construction in Shanghai, China, is an office building for health care company Novartis. He also designed dormitories for the St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

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