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Coop Himmelbl(l)au

Coop Himmelbl(l)au. Viennese Utopian and activist group of architects, associated with Deconstructivism. Founded by Rainer Maria Holzer, Wolf D. Prix (1942– ), and Helmut Swiczinsky (1944– ) in 1968 (Holzer left in 1971), it advocates an exaggeration of tensions, evoking terror, threats, and damage in aggressive designs, and (influenced by Haus-Rucker-Co and Hollein), was, in its beginnings, interested in pneumatic space-structures. Some architectural projects were conceived as bursting into flames, as in Architektur muss Brennen (Architecture must Burn—1980). Coop Himmelbl(l)au's rooftop remodelling, 6 Falkestrasse, Vienna (1983–8), a renovation of the upper part of a traditional apartment-block, with seemingly unstable wing-like skeletal elements, has been influential. Their apartment-block, Vienna (1986), incorporated 50 living-units in 4 angled elements in conflict with each other, while the Funderwork 3 factory, St Veit (1988–9), and Ronacher-Theater, Vienna (project designed 1987), were also aggressively restless compositions. In 1994 their Groningen Museum, The Netherlands, was completed, involving overlapping montages of steel panel-components that will rust away over time. Prix has claimed that the building fulfils Le Corbusier's insistence on a parallel between shipbuilding and architecture. It was an example of computer-aided design.


Coop Himmelblau (1983);
Hahn et al. (1988);
Johnson & and Wigley (1988);
Klotz (ed.) (1986);
Offermann (1989);
Prix (1994);
F. Werner (1988, 2000)

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