Alfredo Brillembourg (representing Urban-Think Tank)

Architect and urban designer Alfredo Brillembourg founded Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1993. With the help of current U-TT co-director Hubert Klumpner, he has developed the organization into a breeding ground for design innovation, regularly bringing together architects, civil engineers, environmental planners, landscape architects, and communications specialists to “study the dynamic conditions acting on modern cities.” U-TT received the Gold Lion Award for Best Project at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale for the installation Torre David: Gran Horizonte, which documented the extralegal and makeshift community of 750 families that reside in the unfinished 45-story office tower in Caracas known as the Centro Financiero Confinanzas. In addition to his work at U-TT, Brillembourg has served as a guest professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation since 2007, where he and Klumpner founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory. The two also serve as co-chairs of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich).

Why we love Alfredo and Urban Think Tank:

• Their eye-opening installation at the Venice Biennale of Architecture stunningly documented Torre David, the informal vertical slum in an abandoned 45-story office tower in Venezuela, winning them a Gold Lion award in the process!

• Their series of “Vertical Gyms” provide safe recreational spaces that bustle with activity day and night, and have contributed to reducing crime rates in low-income neighborhoods in Caracas, Venezuela