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Coop Himmelb(l)au


Biography

Coop Himmelb(l)au is a group of architects that has been active since the late sixties and is best known for its experimental theories about architecture.
Founded in 1968 in Vienna by Wolf D. prix, Helmut Swiczinsky and Michael Holzer, in its early years the group was known for its provocative artistic installations. The “Deconstructivist Architecture” exhibition curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley at MoMa in New York in 1988 drew the world’s attention to Coop Himmelb(l)au and the challenges it posed to architectural form.
The Deconstructivist group  created works that are famous for their counter-current spirit and aggressive forms, often brutal and contorted, always truly innovative.
The group’s design method is perfect for use of 3D rendering tools which underline the lightness and apparent inconsistency of the relationship between built parts.
This is the concept that gives the studio its name: "Himmelblau" means “sky blue”, but by putting the L in brackets it is transformed into "Himmelbau", meaning “construction in the sky”.
Famous works include the penthouse at Falkestrasse 6 in Vienna, which the architects built on top of the historic building and in violent contrast with its character, the Gasometer, an industrial building converted into a housing development in Vienna, the Contemporary Art Pavilion at Groningen Museum in the Netherlands or BMW-Welt in Munich.
The studio’s many public buildings, museums, schools and cultural centres, true urban landmarks, include historic projects in Germany and Austria as well as more recent buildings in China and South Korea.
The studio currently employs 150 people from 19 different countries. It has won numerous prizes and awards, including the 2005 American Architecture Award, the Berlin Prize for Building Art and the European Award presented by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in 2008.
 
Coop Himmelb(l)au selected projects
 
- Busan Cinema Center, Busan (South Korea), 2012
- Dalian International Conference Center, Dalian (China), 2012
- Academy of Fine Art, Monaco (Germany), 2005
- "Wienerberg City" apartment block, Vienna (Austria), 2004
- Apartment Building Gasometer B, Vienna (Austria), 2001
- Redevelopment of J. Hoffmann’s 1934 Austrian Pavilion, Venice Biennale (Italy), 1995
- Office and research centre, Seibersdorf (Austria), 1995
- UFA film centre, Dresden (Germany), 1994
- Contemporary art pavilion at Groningen museum (the Netherlands), 1994
- Media tower, Bietigheim-Bissingen (Germany), 1992
- Renak house, Los Angeles (USA), 1990
- Performing Arts Building, Los Angeles (USA), 1990
- Folly 6, Osaka (Japan), 1990
- Funder Factory 3, Carinthia (Austria), 1989
- Penthouse at Falkestrasse 6, Vienna (Austria), 1988
- “Architecture is now” exhibition, Stuttgart (Germany), 1982
- Hot Flat, Vienna (Austria), 1978
- The House with the Flying Roof, London (England), 1973
- Villa Rosa, 1968

Official website

www.coop-himmelblau.at/

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