xavier vilalta speaker

Xavier Vilalta

"Architect and urbanist specializing in sustainability and innovation. First Spanish TED Fellow"

A veces pensamos que lo ecológico no puede ser bonito, pero puede llegar a ser una verdadera obra de arte


Catalan, English, Spanish


Specific topics

InnovationSmart citiesSustainabilitysustainability

Xavier Vilalta is a world-renowned architect who specializes in sustainability and innovation. Born in 1980, he set up his architecture studio in 2004 and has already carried out over eighty projects. He has built houses, schools, cultural buildings and shopping malls in fifteen countries across Asia, America, Europe and Africa. His architecture is aimed at finding a better connection between nature and human beings through sustainable, ecological design that combines innovative technology with local resources and traditions.

In 2011 he became the first Spaniard to be made a TED Fellow. His talk “Architecture at home in its community” has been viewed almost a million times on the TED website. Xavier has given talks in Scotland, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, the Commercial Real Estate Week in Kazakhstan, World Architecture Day in Brunei Darussalam, the Ethiopian Institute for Architecture and the Smart Build conference in South Africa.

Some of his most notable projects include the Lideta Mercato shopping mall in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), an emblematic office building in Astana, Kazakhstan, Hotel Elguero in Sao Miguel (Brazil), the granite excavated Ebenezer chapel in Raleigh (US), Metro Station 20 in Sofia (Bulgaria), the Mont Blanc bridge in Geneva (Switzerland) and the Barcelona Ecological Center. In 2015 he broadened his horizons by going into the world of furniture and decoration and designed the Ecortina, a curtain made from paper and recyclable plastic which has many uses. His latest challenge is creating a lamp from natural flowers.

Xavier’s talent for innovation has earned him numerous awards, including Young Architect of the Year at the Leaf Awards in 2008. In 2013 he received an international cooperation award from the Catalan Architects’ Association and an Honorable Mention at the Modern Atlanta prize competition (US). He has also received an SAIE Selection award at the Energy Exhibition in Bologna (Italy) on two occasions.

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