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Friday, July 13, 2012

Ivory Towers, Top architect and Fashion in Vienna, Wolfgang Tschapeller

Wolfgang Tschapeller is an architect working in Vienna. He was born in Dölsach, East Tyrol, initially trained as a carpenter, and studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Wolfgang Tschapeller has taught as a visiting professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria, and the State University of New York in Buffalo, as well as other academic institutions. In 2004/2005, he was the McHale Fellow at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Since 2005, he has been a professor of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and since 2012 he is the Head of the Institute of Art and Architecture.
His major projects include the BVA 1, 2 and 3 series for the Vienna headquarters of the Austrian Insurance Fund for Public Employees, the design for the construction of a hotel in the garden of Schwarzenberg Palais in Vienna, and the European Cultural Centre between the Palatine Chapel and the city hall in Aachen, Germany. In 1998 and 2006, he worked on projects for the Linz Opera House. The administrative building of the municipal authority in Murau, Austria, completed in 2002, and the St. Joseph House (2007) embody some of his quintessential ideas.
Wolfgang Tschapeller’s projects have been shown, for instance, in Istanbul in 2010, in Tokyo in 2008, at the Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2010, 2006 and 2004, at the National Art Museum of China as part of the exhibition “Sculptural Architecture in Austria” in 2006, at the Aedes East gallery in 2006, at the Aedes West gallery in 2004 and at the Architecture Biennial in Sao Paulo in 2003.
Wolfgang Tschapeller ZT GmbH was founded in 2007, with Wolfgang Tschapeller as its managing director.

Tschapellar was one of my mentors while at architecture school - as somewhat of an eccentric genius his works were more secretive than anything coming out of Langley Virginia or the latest Google Apple project.  No one at Architecture School that I know took their love for pure architecture more seriously.  Tschapellar in fact is so strict in exploring pure form and process that he almost never renders physical models or 3d renderings in anything else other than pure white.  Unlike Richard Meier, however, who also often used white, never envisioned the world in pure white. Tschapellar it appears would be happier in an ice age world - where his utopian dreams are pure as the driven snow.  His projects are so complex that he makes Liebnitz, Kant, Heideggar and even Derrida seem like child's play.  The process he uses to develop his schemes is often so complex it could fill several War and Peace volume sized book 5 times over. I admire this architect above all for his relentless pursuit of excellence and perfection, my only regret is that he has not realized more built works - this will come in time - for architecture is a profession for the long in tooth - look at Frank Gehry. I fear though that he is almost too intelligent for the real world to appreciate, and will be caught up in the Ivory Tower of Academia, where he has just been made of the Institute of Art and Architecture - Unlike Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelblau, Tschapellar is not fashionable, but rather cerebral and often most at ease when embracing the world of the unbuilt angst of paper architecture.   - Peter Blum writes for Ecomanta and several other design and architecture blogs.