Alejandro Aravena; Gonzalo Arteaga; Juan Cerda; Diego Torres; Victor Oddo
ELEMENTAL sometimes acts as strategic, inventive thinker and sometimes as active maker of finished buildings. The work ranges from several incremental ‘open system’ housing projects to the sculptural clear form of the Innovation Centre for the Angelini Group.
In our manifesto, we suggested that FREESPACE encourages “new ways of seeing the world inventing solutions where architecture provides for the wellbeing and dignity of each citizen on this fragile earth”. Alejandro Aravena of ELEMENTAL continually campaigns for this cause, highlighting the need for architecture to deal with the enormous problem of providing ‘open systems’ rather that finished objects, so as to house with dignity, the growing population of the world and of our cities.
He proposes that FREESPACE be used as a verb, “a commandment for leaving unoccupied voids” so as to capitalise on the spontaneous initiative of people to extend and build for themselves. His call to leave freespace as a “public space reserve” is laudable. He cites the proportion of private land to public space in developed countries as being 1:1, dropping to 1:10 in underdeveloped countries. His arguments are made through his own hand sketches and text as exhibited here in this Biennale Architettura.
Big ideas which cut to the chase are expressed simply and clearly and cannot be ignored.