Alejandro Zaera Polo is a contemporary architect and founder of London and Barcelona-based Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture (AZPA). He is also a Visiting Professor in Princeton and Yale Schools of Architecture, and a prolific theorist, widely published in different professional media.
Alejandro Zaera-Polo was born in Madrid in 1963. He trained at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, graduating with Honors, and went on to do a Master in Architecture (MARCH II) at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University where he graduated with Distinction. He worked at the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam between 1991 and 1993, prior to establishing Foreign Office Architects in 1993.
As a principal of FOA Alejandro Zaera-Polo co-authored the award-winning Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan, after winning an international design competition in 1995. He also was part of the United Architects team, one of the finalists in the Ground Zero competition. He designed and supervised the completion of a wide range of international projects such as the Barcelona Forum Park and Auditoria, the Torrevieja Theater, the Rioja Technology Transfer Centre in Logrono, Spain, the Carabanchel Housing in Madrid, The Palace Residential Towers in Busan, Leicester High Cross and the recently completed Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication.
He also designed and delivered the Spanish Pavilion in the Aichi International Exhibition 2004 and the Madrid Pavilion in Expo Shanghai 2010, and represented Britain in the Venice Architecture Biennale 2002. Alejandro Zaera Polo’s practice has produced critically acclaimed and award winning projects for the public and private sector on an international scale. He favors a pragmatic approach, embracing technical rigor in a search towards a complex and organic architecture which unfolds through a broad variety of locations and typologies. In June 2011, after the dissolution of FOA, his first company, he established Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture (AZPA), where he is working on the Redevelopment of the Birmingham New Street Station, the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship Facilities in Santander, the Cerezales Foundation in Leon, the Gapyong Community Centre in South Korea, the Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova en Lleida and the BioPol Science Centre in Barcelona. Alejandro Zaera-Polo has maintained in parallel an intense academic career. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Princeton University School of Architecture and the inaugural beneficiary of .the Norman Foster Visiting Professorship at Yale University.
Prior to this, he served as the Dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam for four years, and the holder of the Berlage Chair at Delft University for 6 years. He was a Unit Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture and has been a Visiting Critic at the University of California in LA, Columbia University in New York, Princeton University, the School of Architecture in Madrid and the Yokohama School of Architecture.
He has also been an advisor to the Quality Commission for Architecture in Barcelona and to the Urban Age Think Tank of the London School of Economics. He has published extensively as a critic in professional magazines worldwide. El Croquis, Quaderns, A+U, Arch+, Harvard Design Magazine feature his work and he has contributed to numerous publications.
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