Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has donated Palladio Redentore, a signed engraving he made as a student in Venice in the early 1990s. It depicts “the Redentore Church, by architect Andrea Palladio, built to commemorate the end of the 1575 pandemic... While I was studying in Venice, everyday I would draw and measure buildings. I happened to be invited to study engraving at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, and I took the opportunity to elaborate further on some of the drawings and surveys from my sketchbook. This engraving was done using the old machines and presses at the Accademia di Belle Arti; it is one of the few that I’ve held on to.”
According to Aravena: “I graduated with an architectural degree in 1992, but felt that my education was not complete, so I went to Europe to walk in the footsteps of the masters: buildings themselves. I spent 1992 and 1993 drawing and measuring from the Doric temples to the Roman basilicae, from Byzantine churches to Romanic cloisters. Palladio was among the Renaissance works I tried to learn from.”
Aravena was born in Santiago, Chile in 1967. He is an architect and executive director of the firm Elemental S.A., known for socially conscious building projects that attempt to break down economic inequality in urban areas. Aravena has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Silver Lion, the Venice Architecture Biennale’s prize for most promising young architect, and the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize. He served on the Pritzker Prize jury from 2009 through 2015, and he was the director and curator of the Architecture Section of the 2016 Venice Biennale.