Carlos Raul Villanueva, a Venezuelan architect, was the most influential Latin American architect and community designer of the 20th century.
in 1922 he was admitted the Second Class of the Department of Architecture and entered the workshop of Gabriel Héraud. In 1925 he entered the First Class of the Department of Architecture and worked closely with León Joseph Madeline. In his education process he followed the footsteps of his elder brother Marcel. In 1928 he received digree in architecture.
After receiving architecture degree Carlos Raul Villanueva travels to Venezuela for the first time. There he finds a predominantly rural society so different from the one of Europe. He got his first job at the Ministry of Public Works. He was charged with designing many buildings in different cities across the country. His first serious work was “Hotel Jardin” opened in 1930. In this building it was possible to already observe some features that would become common in his designs. Among them were the use of covered galleries to provide protection from the weather and the use of interior courtyards and gar-dens to harmonize built and unbuilt spaces. His first important commission came in 1935 with the project to build the Museum of Fine Arts of Caracas. The project of “Gran Colombia School” (1939–1942) became Villanueva's first attempt to bring into fruition the guiding principle of career: the synthesis of the arts. The buildings also showed Villanueva's application of some of the most defining ideas of modern architecture like the simplfication of form and the importance given to functionality. But the masterwork of Villanueva is considered to be the Campus and buildings of the Central University of Venezuela. The Campus was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000. His other famous works are: Museum of Natural Sciences (Caracas, 1934–1935), Venezuelan Pabillion at the Paris Exposition (Paris, France, 1937 – Demolished), La Vega Residential Estate (Caracas, 1955), Plaza Estrella Building (Caracas, 1964), Jesús Soto Museum (Ciudad Bolívar, 1970). Carlos Raul Villanueva died at the age of 76 leaving a large heritage of over 50 buildings to the whole nation.
"Cities in which we live are inhuman demons that escape our control, absorbing our intellect, our soul, our freedom, our health. So today the first task of the architect - to tame the city and again to make man the master of the great cultural creativity. "