Most renowned Latin American architects

January 19, 2022

The genius of Latin American architects is reflected in outstanding works worldwide. Join us to meet some of the most renowned architects.

Throughout time, Latin American talent has been evident inside and outside Latin America. Architecture, with its mixture of art and technique, is one of many examples of this. That is why this time we want to share a selection of 5 architects who have made a difference, leaving their names in history, and of course exalting their countries of origin and filling us with Latin pride.

1. Alejandro Aravena

He is one of the four Latin architects who have won the Pritzker Prize, awarded by the Hyatt Foundation. In addition to being considered the highest award in architecture, it is given along with a bronze medal and 100 thousand dollars.

Chilean Alejandro Aravena won this award in 2016, when he was 48 years old, becoming the youngest architect to win a Pritzker. He is recognized for realizing projects of a social nature, offering housing solutions for low-income families by implementing his principle of “incremental houses”.

He is currently the Artistic Director of Elemental, his own studio founded in 2000. Additionally, he is a professor at the Catholic University of Chile, a visiting professor at Harvard and London School of Economics. As if that were not enough, he also lectures around the world.

 

2. Antonio Ochoa Piccardo

This architect, born in 1956, was educated at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, but he made history far away from his homeland. Antonio Ochoa Piccardo was the first foreign architecture professional to settle in Beijing after the economic opening of 1979.

In the 1990s Ochoa began to be part of what would become the new architecture in China, bringing about changes that would make him stand out and gain international recognition. Shortly after his arrival, he took over the management of the country’s most important construction company and led housing projects with integrated offices that turned out to be a success.

Later, Antonio Ochoa Piccardo was the protagonist of a “new architectural wonder of China”, a luxurious set of country houses in the surroundings of the Great Wall. This project won a special prize at the 2002 Venice Biennale during the 8th International Architecture Exhibition.

 

3. César Pelli

He is one of the greatest representatives of the visual arts in Argentina, a graduate of the National University of Tucumán. His most famous work corresponds to the tallest buildings in the world until 2003, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

César Pelli is known as the man of skyscrapers for having been behind the Gran Torre de Santiago, the tallest building in Latin America, as well as the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco and the Torre de Cristal in Spain.  Its skyscrapers also stand in Hong Kong, in the International Finance Center.  London, New York and Mexico City did not escape the designs of this specialist in vertical architecture who passed away in 2019.

 

4. Luis Barragan

The first Latin American architect to win a Pritzker Prize was the Mexican Luis Barragán, in 1980. He studied civil engineering at the Escuela Libre de Ingenieros in Guadalajara and later, his travels in Europe gave him the elements he needed to create his own architectural style.

Barragán is known for working natural light with color and form. His designs were framed by Mexican nature and inspired by European works, focusing on landscape architecture. He died in his studio house in 1988, which was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, becoming the only individual house to obtain this designation.

5. Tatiana Bilbao

The name of this Mexican architect has sounded in the international architectural panorama during the last few years. Tatiana Bilbao’s work focuses on humanist architecture with social and environmentalist proposals.

Bilbao has received multiple awards from her urban and sustainable projects, among them: the Kunstpreis Berlin 2012, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014 and the Architizer Impact Award 2017. In fact, Architectural Record magazine included her in its list of the 10 best young architects in the world and she was named Emerging Voice of the Architecture League of New York, in 2010.

 

This concludes our selection of 5 Latin American architects who have left their mark on Latin America and the world. Undoubtedly, there are many other personalities in this field who deserve to be mentioned and other emerging professionals who will bring the essence of Latinos to different corners through architecture.

If you want to contribute to extend this list, share your proposals on our social networks, and long live Latin talent!