China is a great place to cross paths with architects from all over the world, even if these encounters happen in the desert of Inner-Mongolia. Back in 2008, as part of the Ai Weiwei / Herzog & de Meuron -instigated Ordos100 project, MovingCities had the opportunity to interview Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena [Elemental] about his design for a 1,000 square meter villa for low-budget billionaires in Ordos 鄂尔多斯, China.
Earlier this month, Alejandro Aravena was announced the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize. A good excuse for us to send our congratulations, dive into our archive and, for the first time, publish the edited version from our 2008 double-interview.
We realize that in 2008 we published Babel for Billionaires [Mark Magaine#15] and featured 30 words from a 6000 word interview with Alejandro Aravena. That is 0,5 %. Not a lot.
We went back in time, edited the double-interview [April & June 2008] with Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena down to 2000 words and share some insights about first world problems, primitive objects, low-budget housing for unknown billionaires, and how he got the design idea even before visiting the site, his vision on how to manage distance, Chilean architecture (and why, in 2008, he thought of it living a very good moment), his architectural aspirations and Plato’s banquet.
ELEMENTAL: Alejandro Aravena & ORDOS100 [2008 | 2016 edit]
Interview with Alejandro Aravena by MovingCities.
Ordos, China. April 14 & June 25, 2008.
ORDOS100 images by MovingCities
Ordos House project 2008 – images by ELEMENTAL