Search This Blog

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coop Himmelblau - Wolf Prix Radical Neo Modern Architect of Vienna

What if you took all of the elements of a building, hacked them apart and put them back together again without apparent rhyme or reason? That’s basically the visual effect of Deconstructivism, a school of architecture that explores fragmentation and distorts the walls, roof, interior volumes and envelope of a building in a sort of controlled chaos, sometimes to intentionally create discomfort and confusion.

“We don’t want architecture to exclude everything that is disquieting,” the co-founders of Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au wrote of their aesthetics, essentially defining the postmodern architectural movement that has defied conventions and courted controversy since the 1980′s. 

Wolf Prix created one of the most radical architecture additions in the world - a simple penthouse law office contrasted the rigid Wagnerian Architecture of Vienna Austria and still worked within the stringent Historical Preservation rules.  This one piece of architecture sparked a revolution.  According to architect and designer, Inson Wood, " Other than Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas, Wolf Prix was one of my most influential professors.  His primary emphasis was to think out of the box - and to create something new and challenging.  Each assignment was like trying to invent the newest movement in the manner of a Bauhaus think tank.  Wolf taught me to challenge not authority, but to challenge myself and all preconceptions of what design and architecture meant."  

To many young architects, Wolf Prix was a visionary who helped pioneer the post-modernist "deconstructivist" movement that was cannonized by Phillip Johnson in his MoMA show "Deconstructivism." -Ecomanta