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Solano Benítez and his architectural values at Cersaie 2015

Paraguayan architect and teacher Solano Benítez, founder of the practice Gabinete de Arquitectura, will speak at a conference hosted in the Architecture Gallery at 4 pm on Wednesday 30 September.
Born in Asunción in 1963, Benítez distinguished himself in the field of contemporary architecture from an early age, winning several awards and accolades during his thirty-year career.

Solano Benítez began his successful career as an architect after graduating in architecture from the National University of Asunción in 1986. A year later he founded Gabinete de Arquitectura, which he currently co-leads together with his colleague Gloria Cabral.

In 1999, he received an Outstanding Youth award from the Junior Chamber of Paraguay for contributions to national culture. This award was followed by many others, including in 2008 the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, an international recognition for architects under the age of fifty who have done significant work in the field of contemporary architecture. In 2011, Benítez won an honourable mention from the National Congress of Paraguay for his contribution to the nation. In 2011 he was elected ‘Arquitecto del Bicentenario’ by the Paraguayan Architects’ Association and in 2012 became an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.

Benítez’s architectural style reflects his preference for the use of brick as the main construction material in keeping with Paraguay’s building tradition. His close ties with his homeland are also reflected in his consistent use of local labour, which he considers a source of innovation. In particular, he views the lack of specialisation of the local workforce as an opportunity rather than a hurdle.

In turn the Gabinete de Arquitectura has won various awards, including the Work of the Decade Award for the period 1989-1999 from the Paraguay College of Architects in 1999. The same year it was a finalist in the Mies van der Rohe award for Latin America and in 1994 represented Paraguay in the Venice Biennale, in the São Paulo biennial and in Lisbon during its stint as the Ibero-American Capital of Culture.

Solano Benítez’s major works include: The Ytú tourist village in Paraguay (finalist in the Mies van der Rohe Award); the Piribebuy Grave (Paraguay) in 2000 and 2001; the Unilever site in Villa Elisa (winning project in the BSI Swiss Architectural Award) between 2000 and 2001; Casa Esmeraldina, in his native city of Asunción in 2002; Casa Fanego, also in Asunción, in 2003 with Sergio Fanego; Casa Abu & Font in Asunción, between 2005 and 2006; Casa Las Anitas in San Pedro, 2007-2008; Edificio Alambra in San Lorenzo, currently under construction.

(see the  Cersaie 2015 calendar)

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