The loft conversion in the Falkestrasse in the inner City of Vienna was the first realized deconstructivist building in the world and gained international attention for this new kind of architecture.

Project Name: Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse
Studio Name: Coop Himmelb(l)au

Client: Law Firm Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer, Vienna, Austria
Planning: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU  Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Design Principals: Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky
Project Architect: Franz Sam
Project Team: Mathis Barz, Robert Hahn, Stefan Krüger, Max Pauly, Markus Pillhofer, Karin Sam, Valerie Simpson
Structural Engineering: Oskar Graf, Vienna, Austria
Design: 1983
Design Development: 1987
Construction: 1987
Completion: 1988
Floor Area: 400 m²
Cubage: 2.400 m³

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Sheet1
©Coop Himmelb(l)au

The law firm Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer wanted to extend their office upwards. The attention was focussed on a large meeting room. Adjacent to it several smaller office units were to be designed. The project constitutes two storeys with a height of 7.80 m, with a flat area of 400 m². The spacial layout consists of a 90 m² meeting room, three office units include an office space, a reception area and adjacent rooms. It would also be possible to use the office as an apartment.

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Sheet2
©Coop Himmelb(l)au

The preliminary design of 1983 depicts the corner solution. (If there really is such a thing as a solution in architecture.) There are no alcoves or turrets on the roof, no context of proportions, materials or colors but, instead, a visualized line of energy which, coming from the street spans the project, thus breaking the existing roof and thereby opening it.

This space-creating taut arc – an element of Coop Himmelb(l)au’s architecture that since 1980 has progressively become more important – is both the steel backbone of the project and its posture. The open, glazed surfaces and the closed, folded or linear surfaces of the outer shell control the light and allow or restrict the view.

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Sheet3
©Coop Himmelb(l)au

Both directions of view, that from outside and that from within, define the complexity of the spacial relations. The differentiated and differentiating constructional system, which is a cross between a bridge and an airplane, translates the spacial energy into constructional reality.

The planning and the construction took one year each. On December 23rd, 1988 along with the Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse the first deconstructivist building was opened.

Coop Himmelb(l)au

 “Himmelblau is not a color but an idea, of creating architecture with fantasy, as buoyant and variable as clouds.” 1968

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, founded in 1968 by Wolf dPrix, Helmut Swiczinsky, and Michael Holzer (left in 1971) in Vienna, Austria. Since Helmut Swiczinsky retired in 2001 from the firm’s day-to-day operations, and his departure as a partner in 2006, Wolf dPrix is leading the studio as CEO and Design Principal.

Coop Himmelb(l)au’s further management team consists of Harald Krieger, Karolin Schmidbaur, Markus Prossnigg, Alexander Ott and Benjamin Schmidt. The studio has a multicultural team from more than 15 countries and is over 60 people strong. With over 50 years in practice, Coop Himmelb(l)au is an expert in developing and executing complex, timely and highly meaningful projects in the fields of architecture, urban planning, design and art worldwide. The team believes in Architecture as a three-dimensional expression of society and therefore must present a social portrait that embodies societal, political, cultural, energetic and economic forces.

Coop Himmelb(l)au is currently working on a wide range of international projects throughout Russia, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe including the Central Bank of Azerbaijan in Baku, the Kemerovo Museum and Theater Complex, the SCA Arena Sports and Concert Complex and Park in St. Petersburg, and the Sevastopol Opera and Museum Complex. Recently completed works include the Nefertiti Tower a Five Star Hotel in Changsha and the BelView Tower in Vienna.

Coop Himmelb(l)au is globally recognized for its innovative design approach and stands for design that is dynamic, multi-layered, and complex.

The studio’s most well-known international key projects include the Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse attic in Vienna, Austria (the first deconstructivist building in the world); the master plan for the City of Melun-Sénart, France; the Groninger Museum, East Pavilion, The Netherlands; the design for the EXPO.02 —Forum Arteplage in Biel, Switzerland; the multifunctional UFA Cinema Center in Dresden, Germany; the Academy of Fine Arts and the BMW Welt  in Munich, Germany; the Akron Art Museum in Ohio, USA; the Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles, USA; the Martin Luther Church in Hainburg, Austria; the Busan Cinema Center, South Korea; the Dalian International Conference Center in China; the House of Music in Aalborg, Denmark; the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France; the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) in Shenzen, China, and the PANEUM – Wunderkammer des Brotes (House of Bread) in Asten, Austria.

With Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf dPrix has been the recipient of numerous awards

and other design recognitions among others; American Architecture Award, International Architecture Award, RIBA International Award, RIBA European Award, World Architecture Festival Award, Wallpaper Design Award, MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award, Dedalo Minosse International Prize, Red Dot Award, Guinness World Record, Danish Annual Building Award, The International Architecture Award, China Architecture Design Silver Reward, Liang Ning Provincial Excellent Engineering Survey and Design Award 1st Price, China National Excellent Engineering Survey and Design Award 1st Price, The Committee for Building Awards in Aalborg, 2A Asia Architecture Award, IES Illumination Award, 2A Continental Architectural Award, Guangdong Excellent Engineering Survey and Design Award and just recently the Digital Futures Award.

Coop Himmelb(l)au gained widespread attention in 1988 with an exhibition entitled “Deconstructivist Architecture” in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Recognized as seminal for the architecture of the future, the works of Coop Himmelb(l)au have continually been the subject of international exhibitions. Among the largest and most widely known are the solo retrospectives Construire le Ciel in 1992 at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, and the exhibition entitled “Deconstructivist Architecture” held in 1988 at the MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, under the curatorship of Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley. Internationally renowned institutions such as the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, the MAK Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris display the works of Coop Himmelb(l)au as part of their permanent exhibitions.

In 1996 Coop Himmelb(l)au was invited to represent Austria at the 6th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. In 2006 Wolf dPrix was commissioner for the Austrian contribution to the 10th Venice Biennale. Overall, the studio has been invited 8 times to participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale.


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