born Buenos Aires, 1969
Hernán Díaz Alonso is an Argentine-American architect.
He is Director/Chief Executive Officer of SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, and Founder and Principal of Los Angeles-based design practice Xefirotarch. He is an Argentinian architect, designer and educator widely credited for spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, playing a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum in the past decade. As SCI-Arc director, he oversees the direction of an institution with more than 500 students and 80 faculty members, many of whom are well known in the fields of architecture and design. Along with his leadership at SCI-Arc, Alonso is principal of the Los Angeles-based firm Xefirotarch, known for producing grotesque and sometimes unsettling work that challenges responses to environment. Additionally, Diaz Alonso has been named winner of the 2005 MoMa PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP), the AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and an honorable mention in the 2013 P/A Awards.
Diaz Alonso was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1969, and holds a Master’s in Advanced Architecture Design from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University in New York City and a Bachelor of Architecture from the National University of Rosario, Argentina. Before moving to Los Angeles, Diaz Alonso worked for architect Peter Eisenman as a senior designer with Eisenman Architects in New York City. He founded his design practice, Xefirotarch in Los Angeles in 2001, and he currently serves as Principal of the firm. Diaz Alonso began teaching at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles in 2001 as design studio faculty, and served as Coordinator of the Graduate Thesis program from 2007–10, and Graduate Programs Chair from 2010-15. He was appointed SCI-Arc Director and CEO in September 2015. Diaz Alonso has also taught at Columbia University’s GSAPP from 2004–11, and is the studio head professor for the “Excessive” post-graduate program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. He held visiting professorship appointments at Yale University, where he served as the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design in 2010, and as Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design in 2015.
Competitions and awards
Over the course of his career as an architect and educator, Diaz Alonso has earned accolades for his leadership and innovation, and his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies. In 2005, he was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) competition, and in 2012 he received the “Educator of the Year” Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA). Most recently, he won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Progressive Architecture Awards for his design of the Thyssen Bornamiza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina.