Born in 1967, he earned his architecture degree at Chile’s Universidad Católica in 1992, did graduate studies in Theory and History at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (1992-1993), and set up practice in 1994. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University (2000-2005), a professor at the Universidad Católica since 1994, and holder of the Elemental chair there since 2006, the year he also became executive director of Elemental S.A. In 2009 he became a member of the Pritzker Prize jury.
Aravena’s work as a practicing architect include the Faculties of Mathematics and Medicine, the Siamese Towers, and the School of Architecture, all within the Universidad Católica campus; the Huelquen Montessori School; the House for a Sculptress; the House near the Pirehueico Lake; the new facilities for St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas; the Vitra Children Workshop in Weil-am-Rhein; a villa in Ordos, Inner Mongolia; and several social housing projects that fall under the Elemental initiative.
A finalist in the Mies van der Rohe Awards in 2000, he has won such honors as the Erick Schelling Medal for Architecture in 2006, the Silver Lion at the 11th Venice Biennale, first prize in the 12th and 15th Santiago Biennial, the Iakhov Chernikhov Prize in 2008, and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2008. He is the author of books like Los hechos de la arquitectura (The Facts of Architecture), El lugar de la arquitectura (The Place of Architecture), and Material de arquitectura (Architecture Material).