ELEMENTAL is a Do Tank founded in 2001, led by Pritzker Prize Alejandro Aravena and partners Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó and Diego Torres.

ELEMENTAL’s work stands out for engaging in projects that range from housing to public space, from objects to buildings, covering a wide spectrum of interests. Their unbiased approach to a given question enables the office to enter fields they have not explored before, generating an original contribution to people’s quality of life.

One of the firm´s hallmark is the participatory design process in which the architects work closely with the client and final users. In the development of complex initiatives, which require coordination of multiple stakeholders, ELEMENTAL contributes with the innovation and quality of design.

ELEMENTAL’s work comprises a wide range of projects. Following the principle of incrementality almost three thousand housing units has been built in Chile and the world; also educational and corporate buildings as the St. Edwards University Dorms (USA), Anacleto Angelini UC Innovation Centre (Chile), the Office Building at the Novartis Shanghai Campus (China); and the design of public spaces as the Santiago Metropolitan Promenade and Bicentennial Children’s Park (Chile). Elemental has won an international competition to design ArtMill, a major cultural centre in Doha (Qatar).

ELEMENTAL’s projects have been exhibited at the MoMA (2010), the Venice Biennale Architettura, (2008, 2012 and 2016), the Milan Triennale (2008), Sao Paulo Biennale (2007), among others. A solo retrospective opened at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in October 2018. Elemental´s work is also part of the permanent collection of Centre Pompidou.

In 2011, ELEMENTAL published, the Incremental Housing and Participatory Design Manual by Hatje-Cantz, and in 2018, the monograph ELEMENTAL by Phaidon.

The studio has also received the Silver Lion for Housing Projects at Venice Architecture Biennale (2008), Marcus Corporation Foundation Prize for trajectory (2009), the Brit Insurance Design Awards in Architecture Category (2010), the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction- Silver Medal for PRES Constitución (2011), the 1st Prize of Zumtobel Group Award Urban Developments & Initiatives (2014), the London’s Design Museum Design of the Year Award (2015) and the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development (2017). In 2016, ELEMENTAL actively participated into the curatorship of the XV Venice Biennale Architettura.

ELEMENTAL keeps on developing projects seeking to contribute towards new fields of discourse.

Published on July 31, 2023

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