Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York. He received his Bachelor of Art and Architecture in 1984 and his Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. In 1992, he received a second architecture degree from the Central University of Venezuela and began his independent practice in architecture.
In 1993 he founded Urban-Think Tank U-TT in Caracas, Venezuela. Hubert Klumpner joined 1998 as codirector. U-TT is a highly innovative, interdisciplinary design practice dedicated to high-level research and design, with offices in Caracas, São Paulo, New York, and Zürich, and projects all over the world.
The work concerns both theoretical and practical applications within architecture and urban planning. Working in global contexts by creating bridges between first world industry and third world, informal urban areas, focus on the education and development of a new generation of professionals, who will transform cities in the 21st century.
Since 2007, Brillembourg has been a guest professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, where he together with Hubert Klumpner co-founded the S.L.U.M. Lab - Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory.
Alfredo Brillembourg has lectured on architecture at conferences around the world such as GSD in Boston, AEDES in Berlin, UCV in Caracas, UMSA in Miami, Berlage in Rotterdam, FAU in Sao Paulo, and UCLA in Los Angeles. Since May 2010, Brillembourg has held the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the ETH Zürich.
Alfredo Brillembourg and his partner Hubert Klumpner have been shortlisted for the Zumtobel Group Award for innovation. As co-principle of U-TT, Brillembourg has among many other prizes received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award for their innovation in architecture and urban design with regards to social, ecological and aesthetic aspects, the 2011 Holcim Gold Award for Latin America, the 2012 Holcim Global Silver Award for innovative contributions to ecological and social design practices, and the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture Golden Lion.
During the Talking Heads conference, Alfredo Brillembourg will present the Tower of David – a half-built 52-floor skyscraper in downtown Caracas – which has been home to thousands of squatters who transformed the abandoned block into a vertical favela complete with grocery shops, tattoo parlours, internet cafes and a hair salon.
The evening will present the idea of integrated infrastructure, called Urban–Tool Box, a method and system of thinking designed to empower citizens and city building, as well as the research on innovative Metro-Cable San Agustin in Caracas, an urban cable car system featuring music, sports, and educational programs. The project was recently featured in the MoMA exhibition, “Small Scale–Big Change.”