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 1998 he and Hubert Klumpner founded Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Caracas, Venezuela. Since 1994 he has been a member of the Venezuelan Architects and Engineers Association and has been a guest professor at the University Jose Maria Vargas, the University Simon Bolivar and the Central University of Venezuela. Starting in 2007, Brillembourg has been a guest professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, where he co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab) with Hubert Klumpner. Since 2010, Brillembourg and Klumpner hold the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.
As co-principle of U-TT, Brillembourg has received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, 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.